IHE to consolidate early activities in Year 3

CHICAGO - Consolidation is the theme for Year 3 of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative between the RSNA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Rather than debut new integration profiles at this year’s RSNA meeting, IHE planners felt it was important to consolidate the developments made by the initiative in the first two years, according to Christopher Carr, director of informatics at the RSNA of Oak Brook, IL.

"The feeling was that it was wisest to let the marketplace and institutional base absorb [initial IHE developments] a little bit, to let vendors build it into their products and get them into the market," Carr said. "[We also wanted] to focus our efforts on educating buyers so they know how to ask for these capabilities, and know why they want them and what the clinical benefits of IHE are."

In a change from last year, the seven integration profiles are the focus of demonstrations in the IHE area of InfoRAD. The demonstrations, which are taking place eight times a day, are offering visitors an easier way to understand the benefits of the individual profiles and what IHE can offer, Carr said.

Thirty vendors are participating in the demonstrations this year, down from 34 a year ago. This decline was primarily due to industry consolidation, Carr said.

In line with the goal of educating prospective purchasers, IHE educational sessions are being presented on topics such as:

  • Clinical Goals and Technical Challenges: Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in room E351
  • PDAs and Handhelds: Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in room E352
  • Using IHE to Acquire Integrated Systems: Wednesday, 1-2:15 p.m. in room E351
  • Enhancing PACS and RIS through Integration: Wednesday, 1-2:15 p.m. in room E352
  • Integration Across Departments: Wednesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in room E351
  • Speech Recognition: Wednesday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in room E352
  • Archiving and ASP: Wednesday, 4-5:30 p.m. in room E351
  • Structured Reporting, Wednesday, 4-5:30 p.m. in room E352
  • Emerging Standards: Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m. in room E351
  • Image-enabled EMR: Thursday, 8:30-10 a.m. in room E352
  • HIPAA/Security: Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in room E351
  • Computer-Aided Diagnosis/Data Mining: Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. in room E352
  • Strategies for Integration: Thursday, 1-2:15 p.m. in room E351
  • Web-based Medical Education: Thursday, 1-2:15 p.m. in room E352
  • Lexicons and Controlled Vocabularies: Thursday, 2-3:30 p.m. in room E351
  • Teaching Files: Thursday, 2:30-3:30 p.m. in room E352

Several vendors contacted by AuntMinnie.com were enthusiastic about Year 3 of the initiative.

"The IHE Year 3 initiative represents the strongest effort within the industry to date to provide healthcare institutions with the ability to confidently specify and purchase information system and imaging system components from multiple vendors without assuming the risk and responsibility of a custom integration," said Chris Maygar, vice president of R&D at PACS vendor Emageon of Birminghan, AL, a member of the IHE planning and technical committees. "The IHE initiative goes beyond simple 'standards' integration by specifying how real-world business problems can be solved using best-of-breed components from multiple information system and imaging system vendors."

It's important for customers to know that RIS/PACS integration is implemented according to the IHE technical framework, said Rik Primo of Siemens Medical Solutions of Iselin, NJ.

"This guarantees that no vendor proprietary mechanisms are used for the integration," he said. "Otherwise, customers could be locked into a vendor."

Development work is progressing, however, as IHE looks ahead to Year 4. The technical committee is working on the framework for a general-purpose worklist, which would include tasks such as review and reporting. In contrast to a modality worklist that primarily addresses image acquisition, this worklist would be usable in other steps in the diagnostic process, Carr said.

In security developments, the IHE committee is looking at implementing audit trails. In the IHE's first foray into financial transactions, the committee is also developing a charge-posting feature, which would cover the process of sending information about radiology procedures to billing systems.

The IHE team hopes to include integration with related clinical specialties in Year 4, achieving results from its outreach efforts this year, Carr said.

"We've gotten a great deal of interest from other departments, other disciplines," he said. "As for the next step of getting them practically active (in IHE), there are things brewing but nothing definitive to announce at this point."

The IHE planners also hope that the new additions in Year 4 will help spur increased involvement by IS firms in IHE.

"It's been kind of a slow expansion into that area, but with the additions in scope for Year 4 and with the possibility of some real concrete involvement and action from other medical disciplines, that will naturally happen," Carr said.

By Erik L. Ridley
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
November 25, 2001

Related Reading

IHE looks for more participation by HIS vendors, other specialties, February 6, 2001

RSNA, HIMSS release IHE test tools, announce Year 2 plans, June 16, 2000

RSNA and HIMSS renew IHE project for improving healthcare data exchange, April 10, 2000

For the rest of our coverage of the 2001 RSNA meeting, go to our RADCast@RSNA 2001.

Copyright © 2001 AuntMinnie.com

Page 1 of 775
Next Page