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Road to RSNA 2011: Healthcare Informatics Preview
By Cynthia E. Keen, AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 11, 2011

There will be much to learn in imaging informatics at RSNA 2011 as radiologists and IT professionals delve into the ways that informatics can improve the performance of a radiology department, assist daily work life of radiologists, and look after patients' clinical management in ways that were unheard of before healthcare records went electronic.

At this year's conference, key topics include the following:

  • Data mining and analytics
  • Structured reporting templates and use of RadLex terminology
  • Critical results reporting
  • Decision support software
  • Improving quality assurance processes and peer review
  • Harnessing informatics to monitor and improve workflow
  • Electronic patient record tracking of clinical information and recommendations
  • And of course, "meaningful use"

Two refresher/informatics courses are dedicated to the topic of meaningful use. These include an updated overview (Monday, November 28, 2:30 p.m-4:00 p.m., ICII23, Room S501ABC; and Thursday, December 1, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m., ICII52, Room S501ABC). There will also be a candid discussion of how radiology practices are preparing for and achieving meaningful use criteria, included in our highlighted descriptions below.

Road to RSNA 2011: Healthcare Informatics Preview For fundamentals in informatics, don't overlook a two-part course presented in conjunction with the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine on Monday, November 28 (10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ICII21, and 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m., ICII22, both in Room S501ABC).

The RSNA has been promoting intelligent adoption of best-practice structured reporting templates and the use of standard terminology for radiology reporting for several years. These are starting to take off, and many interesting sessions -- courses, posters, and scientific sessions -- are dedicated to them.

Two courses deal with the fundamentals and will provide the latest updates:

  • The RSNA's initiative to develop best-practices radiology report templates (Tuesday, November 29, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., ICII31, Room S501ABC)
  • A session on standard terminology in radiology (Tuesday, November 29, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m., RC430, Room S403A)

Another important RSNA informatics initiative is the RSNA's Clinical Trials Processing project, which will be the subject of a Sunday, November 27, session (4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m., ICII12, Room S501ABC).

A big focus during this year's conference is on using the power of informatics to make improvements that would not be possible otherwise. Here are three courses to consider:

  • Quality improvement and productivity dashboards (Tuesday, November 29, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., MSQI31, Room S406B)
  • Decision support to improve outcomes (Wednesday, November 30, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., RC526A, Room S504CD)
  • Information technology for radiation dose reduction (Thursday, December 1, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m., RC730, Room S404CD)

A very useful course as radiology IT-- specifically RIS and PACS -- is becoming a subset of the total electronic health record and enterprise IT will be a session on IT management for radiologists. It will explore the cultural chasm between today's corporate IT professional and the clinical world (Thursday, December 1, 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m., RC630, Room S102C).

Courses are especially strong this year, and so also are educational exhibits and quality storyboards. For this reason, the sessions highlighted below lean to the venue of the Lakeside Learning Center. Over the years, many commercialized products that have become indispensable to imaging informatics have made their first appearance as a poster or computer exhibit. This year, there may be some gems. Check them out.

To view the RSNA's listing of abstracts for this year's scientific and educational program, click here.

Scientific and Educational Presentations
QatchAll simplifies exam feedback to technologists
Sunday, November 27 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | LL-QSE3031-SUA | Lakeside Learning Center
Providing positive or critical feedback to radiologic technologists may be more trouble than it's worth, but Massachusetts General Hospital makes the process easy with QatchAll, while also telling all in this storyboard session.
Templates for interventional radiology exams save hours in report preparation
Sunday, November 27 | 12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. | LL-INE1142-SUA | Lakeside Learning Center
In this presentation, Dr. Lisa Obert, a radiology resident at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, will discuss how report templates are saving interventional radiologists, fellows, and residents 30 to 60 minutes per day in exam report preparation. For first-year residents, the time savings is even greater: one to two hours of efficiency gain each day.
How to deploy and use open-source CT dose monitoring software
Sunday, November 27 | 2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. | RC154 | Room S401AB
Tuesday, November 29 | 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. | RC454 | Room S401AB
This refresher course introduces the Radiation Dose Intelligent Analytics for CT Examinations (RADIANCE) open-source software, and provides a hands-on demonstration on how to download, configure, and use it.
Structured reports establish consistency in radiology department
Monday, November 28 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-QSE-MO1A | Lakeside Learning Center
The radiology department of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has a reputation for innovation, so it's not surprising that it has implemented the use of structured reporting templates for more than 90% of all dictated reports. Rebecca Pryor, radiology compliance and education specialist, will discuss this initiative.
Making a miniPACS and reporting system work in Kenya
Monday, November 28 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-INE1152-MOB | Lakeside Learning Center
Providing basic radiology services in a developing country, much less implementing a PACS, is challenging. However, a specialized PACS and structured reporting system are operating successfully in Kenya; they will be described in an exhibit at RSNA 2011 by one of its implementers.
Dose monitoring software and benchmarking promote CT dose awareness
Monday, November 28 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-INE1215-MOB | Lakeside Learning Center
Keeping score on a monthly basis of radiation doses administered to patients having CT exams has heightened awareness and provided feedback through benchmarking at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Prioritizing superstat exams may reduce turnaround times
Monday, November 28 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSE12-05 | Room S402AB
In this scientific paper presentation, a radiology department describes the extra step it has taken to prioritize the most urgent of "stat" exam requests from its emergency department.
How to create a radiology department website for mobile devices
Tuesday, November 29 | 9:00 a.m.-9:10 a.m. | MSVR31-03 | Room N228
This presentation will describe the basics of how to create a radiology department website for users of smartphones or mobile tablets.
Ontology-driven search tool identifies MRI contraindications, medical history
Tuesday, November 29 | 11:10 a.m.-11:20 a.m. | SSG07-05 | S402AB
Tuesday, November 29 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSG07-08 | S402AB
An ontology-driven search tool is being deployed at Massachusetts General Hospital to rapidly search existing electronic medical records of patients admitted to the emergency department for important medical history and identify patients scheduled for MRI exams who've experienced prior contraindications. Its use and how well it performs will be explained in these two scientific papers.
Turn off that workstation! Going 'green' in radiology departments
Tuesday, November 29 | 11:20 a.m.-11:30 a.m. | SSG07-06 | S402AB
This scientific session will cover an investigation at the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center that showed how many taxpayer dollars could be saved if the radiology department intelligently went "green" by turning of equipment when not in use.
Open-source software extracts CT exposure metrics
Tuesday, November 29 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSG07-09 | S402AB
Open-source software that extracts anatomy-specific CT exposure metrics from existing image repositories will make its debut at this Tuesday scientific session.
RIS integration eliminates paper ultrasound measurement forms
Tuesday, November 29 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INS-TU8A | Lakeside Learning Center
A Web-based data entry form to record ultrasound measurements has not only eliminated the use of paper forms in the radiology department of Staten Island University Hospital, it has improved the accuracy of communications between technologists and radiologists.
Implementing best practices for electronic communication of critical results
Tuesday, November 29 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-PPE-TU6A | Lakeside Learning Center
Critical test results management software is designed to help simplify, streamline, and make more foolproof the delivery of urgent information, but out-of-box implementation doesn't necessarily produce the desired results. In this session, Dr. Charles McGraw will describe how radiologists at the University of California, Los Angeles Health System have modified a software program to meet the needs of physicians.
Learning from radiology practices' meaningful use experiences
Tuesday, November 29 | 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. | ICII32 | Room S501ABC
The RSNA expects to draw crowds to a panel discussion of five presenters representing radiology practices implementing the meaningful use requirements of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to adopt electronic records and receive U.S. government stimulus funds.
Informatics software tracks complication rates of imaging-guided procedures
Tuesday, November 29 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-QSE3047-TUB | Lakeside Learning Center
In this storyboard presentation, a no-hassle way to track and monitor complication rates of imaging-guided procedures will be explained. The solution that makes this possible is a Web-based automated procedure log application.
Algorithm automatically extracts breast density information from mammo reports
Tuesday, November 29 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | LL-INS-TU4B | Lakeside Learning Center
A method of automatically extracting breast density from free-text mammography reports is described in this poster presentation. Over time, this data could facilitate epidemiological research and decision support for patient management based on breast density.
Radiology and IBM's Dr. Watson DeepQA computer explained
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSJ12-02 | Room S402AB
This scientific session should be a must-attend for fans of the popular U.S. television quiz show "Jeopardy." The artificial intelligence of IBM's Watson DeepQA computer beat the game show's two most successful contestants when it played Jeopardy in February 2011 in a man versus machine showdown.
Just-in-time data mining addresses uncertainty in radiology reports
Tuesday, November 29 | 3:50 p.m.-4:00 p.m. | SSJ11-06 | Room S102D
Imagine sitting at a diagnostic workstation with a difficult case to interpret, and being able to retrieve similar images and related reports contained in a PACS with a single button command. This capability is being tested at Massachusetts General Hospital using prototype software.
Web services deliver imaging appropriateness criteria during order entry
Wednesday, November 30 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSK09-02 | Room S405AB
This scientific session will focus on the feasibility of using Web services to deliver just-in-time American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria to provide decision support when diagnostic imaging procedures are being ordered.
Decision-support guidelines prove effective for breast MRI guidelines
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSK09-07 | Room S405AB
How has the use of clinical decision-support software affected breast MRI use? In this scientific paper presentation, Dr. Vartan Vartanians, a research fellow in radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, will discuss an analysis of 10 years of ordering patterns.
Informatics tracking tool improves management of lung and liver cancer patients
Wednesday, November 30 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSK09-08 | Room S405AB
This presentation describes a tracking tool that red flags the failure of physicians to follow up on radiology reports that identify suspicious lung and/or liver lesions in U.S. military veterans receiving treatment in the Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System.
Automating mandatory QA eliminates biased peer review
Wednesday, November 30 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-QSE3034-WEA | Lakeside Learning Center
This storyboard presentation from MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas makes a strong argument for integrating a mandatory peer-review quality-assurance (QA) process into radiologists' exam interpretation workflow.
Imaging informatics simplifies data collection, analysis for multicenter trial
Wednesday, November 30 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INE1172-WEA | Lakeside Learning Center
Informatics technologies are assumed to be able to make collecting, organizing, and analyzing images and related data easier in multicenter clinical trials. How they were put to the test in a large-scale clinical stroke rehabilitation trial is the subject of this presentation.
ER calling radiology: System to streamline the process
Wednesday, November 30 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INE1147-WEA | Lakeside Learning Center
This presentation will explain how a dynamic rules-based Web application and queuing prioritization system decrease the amount of time spent on the telephone for routine inquiries and requests at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.
Speech recognition software for iPad isn't ready for prime time
Wednesday, November 30 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INS-WE1A | Lakeside Learning Center
The speech recognition software supporting the Apple iPad is not yet ready for prime-time use by radiologists, according to this Wednesday afternoon poster presentation.
What's new with the Health Story project?
Thursday, December 1 | 10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m. | SSQ07-01 | Room S402AB
For those unfamiliar with the Health Story project, this scientific session can help: Presenter Dr. Nick van Terheyden will explain why it is important with respect to realizing the full potential of radiology reports.
Multimedia structured reporting incorporates eye-tracking tool
Thursday, December 1 | 10:40 a.m.-10:50 a.m. | SSQ07-02 | Room S402AB
This scientific session features the formal debut of a prototype software called VISion that integrates images and voice clips in a structured reporting template, and uses eye-tracking technology to record what a radiologist is viewing.
RadLex needs to add more terminology for chest radiography
Thursday, December 1 | 11:00 a.m.-11:10 a.m. | SSQ07-04 | Room S402AB
This scientific presentation will evaluate the question of whether RadLex, the RSNA-sponsored reference ontology of radiology terms, is complete enough for use in reporting of chest radiographs, a commonly performed exam with a relatively defined group of terms associated with it.
Software tracks MD compliance with radiologists' recommendations
Thursday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m.-11:40 a.m. | SSQ07-07 | Room S402AB
Radiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital are using data mining software to determine whether physicians who order diagnostic imaging tests for their patients order additional imaging exams when they are recommended by radiologists.
Structured templates don't improve accuracy, speed for ultrasound reports
Thursday, December 1 | 11:40 a.m.-11:50 a.m. | SSQ07-08 | Room S402AB
The use of structured templates to produce reports of abdominal ultrasound exams at the Ottawa Hospital in Ontario was inefficient, according to an analysis that will be presented in this scientific session.
Informatics tools improve teleultrasound services in developing nations
Thursday, December 1 | 11:50 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | SSQ07-09 | Room S402AB
In this scientific presentation, the founders of Imaging the World, a nonprofit organization that provides teleultrasound to rural villages in Uganda, will describe how imaging informatics technology is improving the quality of its service.
Natural language processing helps assess radiologists' accuracy
Thursday, December 1 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-INS-TH7A | Lakeside Learning Center
The subject of this poster presentation is how Stanford University researchers validated the performance of a natural language processor that they developed to calculate radiologist performance statistics, and how this is evolving into another project that may directly benefit patients.
CPOE system for radiologists manages imaging exam protocols efficiently
Thursday, December 1 | 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. | LL-QSE3035-THA | Lakeside Learning Center
Providing diagnostic imaging services at a large cancer treatment center is complex, but exam protocol selection has been made simpler at MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas with a computerized physician order-entry (CPOE) system designed specifically for radiologists.

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