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What's in an Image?

March 1, 2007
by root
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Demand for quality, efficient and cost-effective healthcare services crosses national datelines.

With the increased sophistication of imaging equipment comes an increased need for data transfer and storage capabilities. It also means the CIO had better have a long-term vision for how images will be handled in the organization. Will imaging still be the domain of the radiologist? Or, as is the trend, will imaging continue to move throughout the hospital encompassing cardiology and pathology departments? Contributing Editor Mark Hagland takes up these questions and many others in, "Image is Everything," page 34.

With more devices accessing a health organization's data backbone, there are more points of entry to personal health information than ever before. That translates into a lot of CIOs enduring a lot of sleepless nights. What are the new threats to the network posed by medical devices, PDAs, and myriad other entry points to the network? Contributing Editor Brian Albright tackles the issue in, "Securing the Perimeter," page 42.

Electronic medical records are only as valuable as the information healthcare providers can get into them. As such, bringing lab data into the EHR is a project many are interested in. Recently, the EHR-Lab Interoperability and Connectivity Standards (ELINCS) was adopted by the standards development organization HL7, which will oversee its maintenance and development. The California HealthCare Foundation was sad to see the standard move on from its care, but, according to the organization, it was all for the best. Read up on the subject in, "ELINCS Gets Adopted," page 20.

Not too many people turn away free things. And that should bode well for the chances of large-scale adoption when it comes to a new free e-prescribing program being launched by a group of major payers, vendors and corporations. The new program's goal is get every physician and pharmacy in American up and running on its Web-based application. Find out more in, "E-prescribing For All," page 26.

Correction: The cover story for the January issue should have stated that using Six Sigma technique enabled OSF Healthcare to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia by 75 percent, not 400 percent.

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