Meaningful Use in Radiology: Podcast with Dr. Keith Dreyer (Part II)

In Part II of our Meaningful Use in Radiology Series with Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D., FSIIM, Vice Chair of Radiology for Informatics, Massachusetts General Hospital, we dig into how Dr. Dreyer expects EHR adoption to impact the practice of radiology, specific MU requirement details including radiology decision-support rules, and how RIS and/or PACS can help radiologists achieve Meaningful Use.


Mammography screening… How can we refocus the discussion?

A recent CDC report examining mammography prevalence confirmed what I’ve been hearing from many customers: screening compliance is flat to down in the U.S. The most common reason women give for not having a mammogram is that their primary care did not recommend the test. 

It’s no secret that referring physicians have an important role in determining whether women stay up-to-date with their mammograms. For reasons that can be difficult to pinpoint, the rate at which primary care physicians recommend mammograms for patients seems to fluctuate. That’s why reminders and continuing education for women, as well as their doctors, will always be important. 

It’s still too early to determine whether the recent U.S. controversy over when screening should begin (age 40 or 50) is affecting screening prevalence. That issue aside, the report found that about one of five women between the ages of 50 and 74 never had a mammogram or were not up-to-date with getting screened in 2008. While some women don’t get a mammogram because they don’t have health insurance and can’t afford it, CDC says, others are simply not aware of, or convinced of, the benefits of screening. That tells me that, despite our progress and good efforts, we are still not doing enough.   

It also lends itself to another question… How can we focus the discussion on getting more women screened for breast cancer? 

From working in the women’s healthcare field for more than 20 years, it’s frustrating to see our community make the same mistakes over and over again. The issue regarding when screening should begin is certainly not a new one, nor are the reasons cited by CDC to explain why prevalence isn’t what it should be. 

We’ve been debating and/or discussing these issues for years, while screening rates continue to suffer. We all know personally of women under 50 who have directly benefitted from having mammograms. Stories of saved lives, as well as those not so fortunate, abound. We know we need to reach doctors and patients to keep our referrals increasing, and there are a lot of great organizations and individuals who continue to do so. But clearly we are not doing enough. 

Breast Cancer Awareness month, now fast approaching in October, provides a great opportunity to re-focus and re-energize our mission. We’ll be doing our part, and I hope you will too. 

What do you think? How can we do better? 

– Anne Richards, Clinical Development Manager, Women’s Healthcare

Meaningful Use promises to be a hot topic at NYMIIS

David Hirschorn, MD, Director of Radiology, Staten Island University Hospital, Researcher in Radiology Informatics, Massachusetts General Hospital

On September 20th, members of the radiology community will gather in New York City for the New York Medical Imaging Informatics Symposium (NYMIIS), sponsored by Staten Island University Hospital.  In anticipation of healthcare reform’s impact on radiology, the symposium will feature technology and faculty discussions focusing on best practices in health IT. 

I think one of the hottest topics that will be discussed is the Obama administration’s definition of Meaningful Use as it relates to radiology and medical imaging in general.  Dr. Keith Dreyer of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has been involved in this effort in Washington, DC, and will describe the requirements and timeline to receive CMS Meaningful Use incentives and avoid penalties, as well as the various technical and operational approaches that radiology groups can pursue to achieve Meaningful Use.  He will explain to chairmen, executive directors and practice managers how these will vary given a group’s practice scenario.  

Dr. Dreyer will also discuss how to evaluate existing IT infrastructure to become eligible for Meaningful Use incentives.  As part of the economic recovery package, there are major dollars out there for those who understand how to make the necessary changes to qualify for them.  His talk will explore future IT product offerings that will need to be purchased for most radiologists to become eligible for MU incentives.  I can think of nothing more timely in our field as we strive to pull our country out of recession and improve our health care delivery system.

For attendees across the organization, NYMIIS should emphasize important factors for facilities to consider as they move forward with medical imaging in light of meaningful use.  As the industry adapts to meet requirements of healthcare reform, such opportunities to share knowledge become invaluable.  

Editor’s Note: For those unable to attend Staten Island University Hospital’s symposium, Carestream is featuring a podcast series with Dr. Dreyer in which he will discuss Meaningful Use requirements with respect to radiology.

Meaningful Use in Radiology: Podcast with Dr. Keith Dreyer (Part I)

In Part I of our Meaningful Use in Radiology Series, we speak with Keith Dreyer, DO, Ph.D., FSIIM, Vice Chair of Radiology for Informatics, Massachusetts General Hospital. Topics discussed include key items that radiology professionals need to know about the final rules and how radiologists can meet certification criteria proposed for Phase I of Meaningful Use.

Click on the link below to activate the audio stream, or you may choose to save the mp3 file to your computer/device.


Increasing the quality of care and reducing costs—yet another step in our journey


Today we announced that Carestream Health has acquired Quantum Medical Imaging, LLC (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.), a privately-held manufacturer of high-quality digital and conventional x-ray systems used by community hospitals, imaging centers and health clinics.

Quantum Medical Imaging specializes in x-ray systems that are cost-effective, reliable and easy-to-implement. These systems are used by healthcare providers around the world—earning high customer satisfaction rankings and an excellent reputation.

We believe this move is significant due to the important role that smaller and midsized healthcare providers serve. They are a critical link in the healthcare chain—providing life-saving care for millions of people worldwide.

Quantum Headquarters in Ronkonkoma, NY

These providers have specific needs driven by workflow efficiency, quality and cost pressure. Given the difficult environment that many providers today are operating in, which must be overcome without compromising quality of care, it’s more important than ever to deliver solutions that meet their unique needs.

We expect the expansion of our product portfolio and market reach that will result from this union will lead to more valuable options for customers of all sizes—which we believe to be a very good thing for everyone.

What do you think?

– Diana Nole, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health

Getting Ready for The Next Step in Security Standards

What does the Common Security Framework mean for HealthIT vendors and users?

Medical device manufacturers have implemented a variety of IT security standards in recent years. HIPAA requirements are well established, and a new round of standards will address the need for greater security across healthcare organizations’ rapidly expanding networks. 

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has drafted a global standard—expected to be formalized in October 2010—that describes the roles, responsibilities and activities of the health organization and the medical device manufacturer so that a risk management approach is used when medical devices are added to the institution’s IT network. The draft standard is referred to as IEC 80001-1, “Application of risk management for IT networks incorporating medical devices.”  

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) believes information security should be a core pillar of, rather than an obstacle to, the broad adoption of health information systems and exchanges.  In pursuit of this goal, they led the development of a Common Security Framework (CSF) that they claim “can be used by any and all organizations that create, access, store or exchange personal health and financial information.” 

The CSF is described as “an information security framework that harmonizes the requirements of existing standards and regulations, including federal (HIPAA, HITECH), third party (PCI, COBIT) and government (NIST, FTC). As a framework, the CSF provides organizations with the needed structure, detail and clarity relating to information security tailored to the healthcare industry.” 

This new information security framework is a relatively new effort to clarify choices so that healthcare provider organizations and medical device manufacturers can ensure that appropriate physical, technical and administrative safeguards are in place. If this initiative is able to achieve its vision, it can serve as a valuable resource throughout the healthcare community. 

Jess Edwards, CIPP | Global Director, Privacy & Product Security, Carestream Health