Vendors, organizations assist in Katrina recovery

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Healthcare IT vendors and associations are coming forward with generous support for the Katrina relief effort. Software, imaging systems, and assistance through EMR technology are desperately needed. Many organizations, such as ASTRO, also are trying to link patients with necessary treatments such as cancer therapy.

Siemens Medical Solutions said this week it has made available EMR software as well as mobile imaging equipment for the effort. An enormous amount of medical data for hundreds of thousands of New Orleans natives have been lost and EMR technology being used at the Houston Astrodome will be essential to rebuilding but also for tracking potential disease outbreaks in the aftermath. An assortment of mobile devices contributed by the company such as x-ray, ultrasound and CT systems are being used by medical professionals at the Astrodome - with images being routed electronically to radiologists on the scene as well as local hospitals.

Toshiba Corp. also has committed resources to the relief effort. In a letter to employees, President and CEO Atsutoshi Nishida stated that, "In order to assist and contribute to a swift recovery from the disaster, Toshiba Group has decided to make donation of $1 million in cash and medical equipment to alleviate the suffering of all the victims and their families."

AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) has encouraged members to contribute to the American Red Cross, and has plans to support efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services' efforts to establish emergency field hospitals. Acknowledging the importance of information sharing with healthcare professionals contributing to the recovery, the organization has created a Disaster Management Resources area at its website: http://www.ahima.org.

And of course, the link to donate through the Red Cross is: www.redcross.org and click on "make an online donation" at the top right.