VA's latest in EMR, Vista Imaging on display at InfoRAD

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The Department of Veteran Affairs first implemented its electronic medical record (EMR) back in 1998. Now in 2005, the system has become remarkably robust and its latest developments are on display at this year's InfoRAD exhibit hall this week at RSNA in Chicago.
   
The VA's impact on the healthcare community has been widespread, for instance helping to push forward a number of now commonly accepted standards such as DICOM, said Daniel N. Carozza, MD, consultant, VistA Imaging Project.
   
The EMR system developed by the organization also is widespread through a national network of 158 VA hospitals and approximately 6,000 clinics. Putting the weight of their network to use, they have set their eyes on pushing the EMR envelope through the use of multi-media components to greatly enhance what a medical record can do; generally speaking, such tools make the EMR a powerful tool in facilitating the analysis of a patient's health by comparing prior medical results with current conditions.
   
Beyond the tools themselves, the broad capabilities of the VA EMR are being made available across their entire network of hospitals with identical tools at any network access point.
   
Related systems that are part of what is called VistA also are on display at the exhibit. Details are available on the latest developments for the VistA Imaging System which includes a main display which shows all studies that include images for a patient, a sophisticated full resolution view window, and a radiology/DICOM Image Viewer. The VA exhibit also includes information about a subcomponent called the VistARad Diagnostic Workstation which is used for high-volume interpretation of radiology and nuclear medicine images with full PACS functionality. To gain access to the image data and other necessary information, VistARad uses the VistaA Imaging storage and acquisition infrastructure.