New Name, New Mission Sharpening Priorities for Imaging

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 - Lisa Fratt - Portrait
Lisa Fratt, Editor

The best decisions are data- and mission-driven, collaborative, timely and strategic.

This year’s Top Trends survey confirms shifts that have been brewing for awhile. Informatics has become solidly entrenched throughout the imaging enterprise. Nearly eight years ago, when Health Imaging & IT launched, radiology practices and imaging departments had not yet universally infused IT. Today, radiology is recognized as the leading IT-driven specialty. Simultaneously, radiology has expanded to include image-based ’ologies such as cardiology, oncology and pathology.

Meanwhile, the economic boom of the 1990s has been replaced by a cost-conscious market. Reimbursement models are spiraling, and the need to attend to the business, economics and efficiencies of imaging is at an all-time high.

Finally, the role of the radiologist is evolving. Relationships with patients, specialists and referring physicians,  always important, have taken center stage.

These shifts, coupled with changes in the professional publication marketplace, spurred us to finalize a change we’ve internally considered for a year and shorten our name to Health Imaging. Our core emphases are: economics, practice and informatics. It is a subtle but important shift. Our editorial team is carefully calibrating every feature to ensure that we address these key business drivers and provide the information that imaging stakeholders need to steer their practices toward thriving in challenging times. Also, scroll over to our redesigned website at www.healthimaging.com for daily coverage of top imaging stories.

This month’s cover story illustrates our commitment to data analysis. We surveyed nearly 400 Health Imaging readers to glean insights about revenue, budgets, practice patterns, business strategies and IT priorities. It is a treasure trove of information.

We also consider how imaging and informatics have revolutionized oncology, what they mean for disease and practice management. The pairing of PACS with the EMR provides clinicians with real-time access to patient data to boost quality and efficiency.

Experts share the triumphs and trials of advanced visualization technology, which has become a microcosm of imaging. In a host of clinical situations, the technology can refine diagnosis and enable accelerated, safer patient care. However, familiar roadblocks—efficiency and reimbursement—could impede the ongoing diffusion of advanced viz.

Digital radiography (DR) is one of the most compelling technologies to hit the imaging arena in the last decade. However, its price point has deterred widespread adoption. New options are enabling budget-conscious sites to derive digital image quality and benefits to the bottom line.

Finally, we visit with radiology and informatics superstar Eliot L. Siegel, MD, and his sidekick IBM’s Watson to find out how supercomputing could change the face of medicine. There’s no jeopardy here.

As we head into the final countdown toward RSNA, stay in touch. How does our refined focus reflect yours? Like you, we’re in it for the long haul.