Day two at RSNA had a decidedly health care information technology (HCIT) focus for me, with the GNAX Health, Acuo Technologies and Client Outlook Case Study, and Agfa Healthcare ICIS/Xero presentations at the Exhibitor Product Theater (EPT) as well as Monday's Plenary session by Keith J. Dreyer, DO, PhD and Paul J. Chang, MD on imaging informatics. On a side note, I was surprised by the attendance at the EPT showings; I thought it would be a large draw this year, but Monday's in-person crowds were quite sparse.
I had the opportunity to be at HIMSS 2012 this year and was present for the first showing of the Proposed Rule for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, and these sessions have given me a fresh view on HCIT and how it relates to the radiologist.
As has always been the common theme with HCIT, there was an emphasis on information exchange between facilities and integration of disparate information systems into a unified data source. Radiology of course has a special importance here, as was pointed out by Dr. Chang, due to the need for collaboration between radiologists and referring physicians and how HCIT has in ways distanced these two entities.
My take away from this session was the importance of considering the various stakeholders at play when developing HCIT solutions including physicians, hospitals, government, patients, payers, and the vendors themselves. As Dr. Dreyer mentioned, the motivation of these stakeholders play a key role in product features, such as in a fee-for-service environment leading to referring physicians wanting the ability to request more images through the system, or in an outcome-driven system leading to demand features such as chat functionality between the referring physician and radiologist. With the push for connecting the practice of radiology closer to patients, HCIT solutions can act as a gateway to transitioning radiology into an outcome-based health care system and vendors that successfully provide that integration and connectivity to patients in the future will succeed.
The patient-centric theme at RSNA exemplifies this need for HCIT to connect radiologists with their patients, and favorable Meaningful Use legislation along with radiology's attempt to avoid becoming a commoditized service relies on patient prominence.