RSNA, HIMSS release IHE test tools, announce Year 2 plans

The Radiological Society of North America and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society have released the demonstration test tools developed under the first year of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative, making them publicly available for the first time. In addition, HIMSS and RSNA representatives have announced plans to expand the IHE initiative significantly during its second year.

Release of the demonstration tool suite, called MESA, will enable industry and healthcare institution researchers and developers to use the tools without restriction, according to Paul Vegoda, a member of HIMSS' board of directors. The MESA tools, created at the Electronic Radiology Laboratory (ERL) of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, allow developers to test compatibility between systems using the IHE protocols.

The RSNA and HIMSS representatives are also looking to take advantage of momentum gained in the first year of the initiative, which saw 24 vendors participate in demonstrations at the 1999 RSNA and 2000 HIMSS conferences. First-year demonstrations emphasized the maintenance of patient information integrity during typical radiology procedures. The benefits of the IHE approach include reduced data and functional redundancy; enhanced data integrity, consistency and accessibility; and better communication between enterprise information systems and radiology information systems, according to the societies.

The Year 2 IHE demonstrations will be expanded to include reporting; broader access to images and reports throughout the enterprise; consistency in image presentation; reconciliation of unknown patient data, and other workflow enhancements and transactions. In line with IHE's long-term goal of getting information systems to work together throughout the healthcare enterprise, HIMSS and RSNA will invite other medical specialties and healthcare enterprise units to implement similar integration efforts, according to the societies. Ultimately, this will make relevant patient data available to all care providers on demand to enable optimal care decisions, according to Vegoda.

By staff writers
June 16, 2000

Related Reading

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

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