Ready or not, informatics is now driving radiology

Ready or not, informatics is now driving radiology

by John W. Mitchell, Senior Correspondent | December 04, 2019
Business Affairs Health IT
#RSNA19
In an RSNA 2019 session about educational pathways for informatics education in imaging, the session moderator summed up the need pointedly and with urgency.

“If you’re a radiologist today, you’ve turned into an informatics specialist whether you like it or not,” said Dr. Christopher Roth, director, Imaging Informatics Strategy, Duke University Hospital. “You weren’t trained for that…(but) the expectation is thrust on us to generate machine-readable reports.”

He and three colleagues spent 90 minutes reviewing the pathways to higher informatics knowledge in a session titled “Want to Learn More About Imaging Informatics? Education, Resources, and Certifications.” Roth opened the session touching on a long list of emerging imaging demands with informatics solutions around standardization. These include:

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– Workstations are no longer just a viewer and dictation. Radiologists need to communicate with technologists easily and incorporate workflow efficiently;

– A radiologist needs as much information as possible from the electronic health record to make a well-informed diagnosis;

– Informatics helps radiologists keep up with changing CMS rules and reporting;

– Everything in the workflow is now driven by informatics, from working with other providers to creating dashboards, to obtaining pre-authorizations.

– More and more patients are becoming consumers of imaging records. The days of storing images in boxes and file cabinets do not facilitate the transfer of imaging records to patients;

– AI offers advantages over humans — and vice versa. Radiologists need to understand the difference, as well as to make sure AI applications are safe for patients;

– Informatics expertise can help reduce liability.


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