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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HIT Policy with Respect to Imaging Specialities

 If you've been following me for the past week, you can guess that what I've been reading are the various and sundry meaningful use requirements and policy recommendations.

What has me scratching my head right now is the nearly complete lack of integration of imaging into the HIT Standards selections.  Yes, imaging reports can be shared using the HIT Standards committee selections, but the images themselves cannot.  If the point of meaningful use is to reduce costs, and one way to reduce costs is to eliminate the need for duplicative testing, then why wouldn't we be identifying standards that allow for images themselves to be shared?  Right now the only thing the HIT Standards Committee has identified is the need to share radiology reports, and what they've chosen was originally written for the anthrax biosurveillance use case.

My wife would really enjoy not having to drive 60 extra miles to transfer films from one provider to another so that her primary care provider can view her mammograms alongside the radiology report.

The HIT Policy committee is meeting later this month (October 27 and 28) to discuss (among other things) "the mapping of core Meaningful Use objectives and existing measures to medical specialties, small practices, and small hospitals."

My hope is that some of their invited experts are from the imaging specialties, and that they talk to them about the needs to integrate imaging into the healthcare landscape.


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