Incidental findings in radiology, interoperability and new developments in medical imaging
This week’s articles include: benefits of leaving incidental findings off the radiology report; cloud technology can help health IT data exchange interoperability; new developments in PET/CT imaging; a study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine estimates that more than 251,000 people die annually from medical errors in U.S. hospitals; and the Obama administration launched a contest to make bills for medical services easier to understand.
If incidental findings pass these four criteria, consider leaving off rad report – Health Imaging
When radiologists discover harmless incidental findings, they are left with the complex, at times difficult choice of either including it in the radiology report or not mentioning it at all. Authors involved in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology reported that avoiding unnecessary follow-up imaging is a significant benefit of not disclosing harmless incidental findings. Even if the report recommends not following up on the finding, the referring physician could misunderstand that opinion and proceed by moving forward.
Power of the cloud spurs big push to boost interoperability – Health Data Management
The cloud holds great potential for health data exchange interoperability and it may be used to leverage intense data exchange initiatives, health IT experts believe. Precision medicine based on genomics, with its huge amounts of complex digital information, will tie masses of information to a single electronic health record.
Hybrid imaging still gaining momentum – Health Imaging
Hybrid imaging systems, particularly PET/CT, are widely used in clinical practice. Now new developments in detector technology that allow for faster scans with significantly reduced injected tracer doses open up new indications for PET imaging. In addition to shorter scans and dose reductions, technological developments will open the door for partial body PET/CT, and specialized tracers will continue to increase demand for PET/CT.
HIT seen as way to reduce patient deaths caused by medical errors – Health Data Management
The extent and cost in human lives of medical errors—and how health information technology can make a dent in the problem—remains difficult to determine. The newest study to assess the degree of medical errors, recently published in the British Medical Journal, comes from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which estimated that more than 251,000 people die annually from medical errors in U.S. hospitals. That would make it the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
Obama administration announces contest to redesign medical bills – Health Management Technology
The Obama administration launched a contest among healthcare groups, developers, designers and tech firms to redesign a medical bill that is much simpler than the current system. Dubbed “A Bill You Can Understand,” the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) aims to inspire groups and individuals to come up with a novel approach to enhance the overall medical billing experience for patients. Medical billing is one of the most troubling burdens that patients face in the U.S.