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By Cynthia E. Keen, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 18, 2010

At RSNA 2009, the subject of healthcare informatics maintained a surprisingly low profile. This certainly isn't the case at RSNA 2010.

Attendees at this year's annual meeting could dedicate 100% of their time attending a plethora of scientific sessions, poster presentations, and interactive poster demonstrations, refresher courses, and imaging informatics workshops. Not to mention visiting the RSNA Quantitative Reading Room of the Future at the Lakeside Learning Center.

And we aren't even talking PACS!

In the U.S., the buzzword of the year has been "meaningful use," even though imaging informatics has been excluded from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' first stage of carrot-and-stick requirements to motivate healthcare providers to adopt electronic imaging. At RSNA 2010, meaningful use is what the focus of healthcare informatics is all about: sharing innovative and practical ways to harness and utilize IT technology that seemed so new and novel only a few years ago.

At this year's conference, key topics include:

  • Methods and systems to extract, measure, and incorporate radiation dose exposure from CT and other modality examinations
  • Data mining of radiology reports and medical records for every conceivable application.
  • Structured reporting templates and savvy ways to use them
  • Reporting of urgent and critical results and unexpected findings
  • Electronic auditing to improve quality assurance, patient safety, and accuracy of billing
  • Decision support software for clinicians ordering exams

Decision support software versus radiology benefits management: Which will it be? If this is of interest, don't miss the Sunday morning scientific session dedicated to the topic of clinical decision support (November 28, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m., SSA11, Room S403A). There's also a refresher course dedicated to this subject (Tuesday, November 30, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., RC326, Room S403B).

If you're a member of a U.S. radiology practice group, don't overlook "Adding Millions of Dollars to Your Practice Through Meaningful Use" (Monday, November 29, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., IX21, Room S402AB). This course explains how to qualify to receive stimulus funding for going digital. Radiology IT vendors should enroll in course IX11, entitled "What Your Customers Will Demand and Your Competition Will Provide" (Sunday, November 28, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Room S103AB).

Last year, the rollout at RSNA of a free library of 70 best practice report templates stole the show based on the international level of interest the RSNA received about them during 2010. This year, 30 new templates will make their debut, as well as a preview of a new searchable website that will house them. Don't miss course II31, the RSNA Reporting Initiative (Tuesday, November 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Room S501ABC).

If you or your colleagues have difficulty understanding the inner workings of your IT department, a refresher course entitled "IT Management for Radiologists" is tailor-made for you (Monday, November 29, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., RC230, Room S504AB).

The Qualitative Imaging Reading Room of the Future at the Lakeside Learning Center is well worth a visit. It will feature 23 interactive educational demonstrations that showcase products in development or that have been newly introduced for commercial sale.

The reading room will showcase how qualitative analysis can be integrated into the imaging workflow. Qualitative imaging is the acquisition, extraction, and characterization of relevant quantifiable features from medical images for use in research and patient care. See what the future holds. At the pace that healthcare informatics is moving, these innovations will arrive sooner than you think.

Below you will find a selection of scientific and poster presentations that you might want to consider attending. But we couldn't include them all, so make sure to visit the RSNA 2010 meeting program website if you haven't done so already to see the impressive selection of options relating to healthcare informatics.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
Suspected PE patients benefit from CTPA ordering system
Sunday, November 28 | 11:05 a.m.-11:15 a.m. | SSA11-03 | Room S403A
The value of using a computerized clinical decision-support system when ordering a CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) will be one of several scientific session presentations on the use of clinical decision support by physicians.
Decision-support software utilization thrives in Minn.
Sunday, November 28 | 11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m. | SSA11-04 | Room S403A
What chance does clinical decision-support software for ordering radiology procedures have of being universally accepted in the U.S.? An excellent chance, if more states would do what Minnesota has been doing for the past four years, according to a scientific session scheduled for Sunday.
Vendor speaks out on utilization management
Sunday, November 28 | 11:35 a.m.-11:45 a.m. | SSA11-06 | Room S403A
In a scientific session on the use of informatics to provide clinical-decision support, Mark Hiatt, MD, of Houston-based radiology benefits management company HealthHelp, makes a case for utilization management by a third party.
PACS-driven radiation dose monitoring system makes debut
Sunday, November 28 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | LL-INS-SU3A | Lakeside Learning Center
Monitoring radiation dose is a hot topic at this year's RSNA meeting -- everybody wants to do it, but how? Radiologists at Samsung Medical Center in South Korea have developed a radiation information interface system driven from the hospital's PACS database that can monitor exact exam doses.
Dashboard monitors unread radiology exams in teaching hospital
Sunday, November 28 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | LL-QSE3051-SUA | Lakeside Learning Center
How does a large urban teaching hospital with a radiology department that performs 360,000 exams a year ensure that every exam is reported in a timely manner? This poster presentation will explain how Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston tackled the problem by designing and implementing a radiology operations dashboard.
Image-enabled structured report template tool introduced
Sunday, November 28 | 1:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | LL-INE1169-SUB | Lakeside Learning Center
In this poster presentation, a multi-institutional team of researchers will describe construction of a new direct radiology report input method. This novel system generates structured report text based on the location where a radiologist clicks on the display of the patient's anatomic area being evaluated.
OCR technology used in CT dose reporting and archiving system
Monday, November 29 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INE1167-MOA | Lakeside Learning Center
While new CT scanners incorporate DICOM-SR standards that record radiation dose, legacy scanners do not. Radiologists at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have developed an enterprisewide solution to automatically extract and store data from image-based dose sheets found on CT scanners.
Electronic case 'logbook' makes debut
Monday, November 29 | 12:15 p.m-12:45 p.m. | LL-INE-MO5A | Lakeside Learning Center
An electronic case logbook -- software to document procedure logs -- will make its debut in a poster presentation by one of its developers, Monish Jatin Laxpati, MD.
Critical results reporting process improved in Ky.
Monday, November 29 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-QSE3042-MOB | Lakeside Learning Center
This poster presentation will describe how a sentinel event of a missed communication inspired a private radiology practice and a community hospital to work together to develop an inexpensive critical results reporting and documentation software program.
Structured report model for imaging research offers utility
Tuesday, November 30 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSG08-01 | Room S402AB
In an informatics scientific session focusing on radiology reporting and results communication, Daniel Rubin, MD, will describe ClearCapture, an open-source structured reporting tool integrated into an image viewing workstation. It is designed to assist in the comprehensive collection of information that is required for imaging research studies and could ultimately be extended to clinical practice.
Natural language processing helps mine data on follow-up imaging exams
Tuesday, November 30 | 10:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m. | SSG08-03 | Room S402AB
In this scientific session, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston discuss how they used a natural language processing program to mine data to analyze trends in recommendation rates over a 16-year period for high-cost versus low-cost imaging exams following a primary abdominal ultrasound study.
Natural language processor autogenerates standardized knee MRI reports
Tuesday, November 30 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSG08-04 | Room S402AB
In this presentation, a research team from Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, CA, will describe how they developed and validated a natural language processor that identifies semantic content in knee MRI statements from unstructured text and automatically generates full, structured knee MRI reports.
What clinicians want in a critical results reporting system
Tuesday, November 30 | 11:20 a.m-11:30 a.m. | SSG07-06 | Room S102D
What do clinicians want from an automated critical and urgent results reporting system? The radiologists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, conducted an electronic survey to find out and report their findings in this scientific session.
Toolbox for RIS/PACS offers quality and safety management utility
Tuesday, November 30 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-QSE3053-TUA | Lakeside Learning Center
This poster presentation and exhibit will explain the development and successful implementation of a multipurpose "quality toolbox" at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Structured report developed for MRI staging of rectal cancer
Tuesday, November 30 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-INS-TU3B | Lakeside Learning Center
A structured report template developed for MRI staging of rectal cancer will be introduced and explained in this poster presentation from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. It represents an example of a unique template designed specifically for a specialized examination.
RSNA report templates improve US report turnaround time
Tuesday, November 30 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-QSE3035-TUB | Lakeside Learning Center
The use of RSNA reporting templates and a speech recognition software system can provide a faster way to generate near-real-time reporting for priority and "stat" ultrasound exams, according to radiologists from Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan.
Low radiation dose for CT scout image recommended
Wednesday, December 1 | 11:20 a.m-11:30 a.m. | SSK09-06 | Room S402AB
How variable is the dose of the scout image of a CT scan? How useful is it as a diagnostic tool to radiologists? Find out what researchers at the University of Maryland in Baltimore discovered after conducting a survey of its radiologists who work at five hospitals.
Real-time CT dose monitoring/reporting system debuts
Wednesday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSK09-07 | Room S402AB
In an informatics scientific session focusing on quality and safety, a team from Stanford University in Stanford, CA, will present an approach that it has developed to perform real-time CT dose monitoring and reporting.
Patient-centric dashboard identifies bottlenecks, inefficiencies
Wednesday, December 1 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INE1215-WEA | Lakeside Learning Center
A team from Aga Khan University Hospital in Pakistan has developed an automated dashboard designed to share exam status information with patients in waiting rooms, and will discuss how it can be used as a quality improvement tool to identify department bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
Tool to identify pneumonia-related x-ray exams introduced
Wednesday, December 1 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-QSE3032-WEA | Lakeside Learning Center
A software tool that "pink flags" chest radiographs ordered by emergency department physicians for patients suspected of having pneumonia -- and tracks them through the radiology department workflow -- will make its debut at a poster presentation on Wednesday.
Automation of exam header details improves rad report accuracy
Wednesday, December 1 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSM12-02 | Room S102D
When diagnostic imaging exam header details are automatically inserted into a radiology report, the percentage of errors that can occur when these details are manually added can drop dramatically, according to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Data mining with natural language processing identifies mammo trends
Thursday, December 2 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ10-09 | Room S402AB
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston will present their findings of a study on clinical data mining with natural language processing to identify the most common breast pathologies and their notation in nearly 75,000 mammography reports.
Audit tool improves contrast billing accuracy
Thursday, December 2 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INS-TH3A | Lakeside Learning Center
To reduce inaccuracies in documentation of contrast administration and to improve billing accuracy, the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System created an audit tool. The results have been nothing short of remarkable.
Data mining techniques simplify PET report evaluations
Thursday, December 2 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-INE1153-THB | Lakeside Learning Center
In this poster presentation, a team from Montefiore Medical Center in New York City will explain data mining techniques used to classify the complexity and time of review of PET scan reports.

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