I'm not a huge gun advocate, but I think it is self-evident that had someone at the Sandy Hook School in Connecticut been armed, 26 innocent children and their protectors would more likely be alive today. And that's all I'm going to say about that. (Don't even bother to comment.)
Right. Let's get on to business.
From my earliest, infantile postings, I've been bemoaning the problem of the "portable patient," the fellow whose imaging studies are spread about the land like a virus. My friends at lifeIMAGE, including CEO Hamid Tabatabaie many other wise folks from the old AMICAS days, continue to lead the charge in solving this particular bane of my existence. There has certainly been progress in digitizing even the smaller hospitals, but the free-standing PACS therein create what lifeIMAGE terms "information silos". A new (well, evolutionary, anyway) service called Connections™eases the communication between these silos, the patients whose information they contain, and the medical personnel that staff them.
lifeIMAGE Connections employs simple and social workflow to connect people in real-time to send or receive imaging information. Physicians, patients and imaging service providers can connect to sources of imaging data on CDs, remote PACS networks, scanners or electronic health records. This will drive better, less expensive patient care by preventing unnecessary imaging exams, and will also foster a new level of collaboration on imaging that will escalate the value and scope of radiology in healthcare delivery.For those whose path will force them into an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)
In the coming year, Connections will evolve to support new models of provider collaboration. To help hospitals involved in ACOs meet quality and cost containment goals, lifeIMAGE will provide imaging duplication detection through integration with clinical decision support and EMR applications. This will connect physicians who are part of at-risk models to relevant prior imaging, no matter where it is stored. lifeIMAGE is demonstrating its early integration with HealthFortis, a leading decision support system, at RSNA.lifeIMAGE had at RSNA-time approximately 300,000,000 images under management. Not bad. Clearly, the market agrees that their solution works: customer list reads like a Who's Who of radiology
Yes, there are other ways to skin the silos, so to speak, and many PACS companies tout them. But I firmly believe lifeIMAGE has solved this problem in the most vendor-neutral and HIPAA compliant manner possible. I have but one regret: I'm not yet a customer. But I'm working on it!
On a tangential issue, I got to hear as well about the continued evolution of HealthFortis , mentioned above and described in one my RSNA 2011 posts . Kang Wang, another of the software geniuses (and I do not use that term flippantly) has taken the approach to CPOE that would never occur to a megalithic company: BE the piece of paper the surgeons and clinicians really want! Never slow down the docs, but add decision support to the format they already know. The interface is simple, intuitive, EMR integrated, cloud based, it actually works. Initial placements have demonstrated that compliance with the system increases rapidly with use, with fewer and fewer incorrect orders. While the average "decision support" software simply second-guesses the user, HealthFortis HELPS select the recommended procedure, following a search and display algorithm reminiscent of Google. Appropriateness of radiological procedure selections are graded by the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, with 9 for the best and 1 for the worst choices given the particular setting.
Sitting on the periphery of the CPOE committee of one of our hospitals which is trying to rework 20-year-old MediTech software, and hearing the shrieks of pain and agony from the other which is trying to make Cerner user-friendly, I can tell you first hand that Kang's approach is light-years ahead of the old-fashioned ways.
lifeIMAGE and HealthFortis have, through simple interfaces and effective software, solved some of the most troublesome problems we face in the "Information Tsunami". I urge you to have a look for yourself.