Opportunity knocks

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Lisa Fratt, Editor

Imaging informatics seems to face a series of impossible demands. Clinicians want rich PACS/EMR integration with one-click image access in the EMR; administrators demand real-time, customized dashboards; and dollars and staff are in short supply. Nevertheless, smart players in the image management world are finding ways to leverage technology and people to devise real solutions.

A number of sessions at this month’s Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) annual meeting in Minneapolis outlined the often-overlooked role of non-IT factors in crafting imaging informatics solutions.

Radiology needs to reach beyond technology and beyond the department as it tackles business intelligence projects, said Ramin Khorasani, MD, MPH, vice chairman department of radiology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (Boston). Khorasani’s advice holds true for RIS/PACS projects. If radiology overlooks the key contributions of stakeholders across the enterprise and neglects change management processes, it will be left with a partial solution, which translates into no solution at all.

Similarly, the PACS and IT departments need to get over their differences, work together and learn from each other as they construct a meaningful, image-rich electronic patient record, opined Paul Chang, MD, vice chairman of radiology informatics at University of Chicago Medical Center (Chicago), during the SIIM 2010 Dwyer Lecture.

The upshot? Reach out to your enterprise colleagues. Ask them about their image management challenges. And listen to them. Their answers may be enlightening.

Let me know what you hear.

Lisa Fratt, editor