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Radiology Already Leads in Federal Stimulus Guidelines

March 29, 2010
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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Electronic health records (EHRs) are touted as one of the newest, best potential aspects of federal stimulus aid to the medical community, and radiology leads, by at least ten years, in having some of them already in place.

In a publication from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, guidelines state that healthcare providers must prove “meaningful use” of their technology to receive stimulus funding. The Office further details exactly when and what information, and eventually how much of it, must be recorded. And while the government specifically calls for the interchange of information regarding patients’ medications through electronic means, it does not note the need for recording the electronic interoperation of radiological treatments with other medical orders and procedures. That could partly be because the discipline has already consistently made such advances on its own, according to an article in DiagnosticImaging.com, by Nicholas Christiano, Jr., chief administrative officer for Advanced Radiology Consultants in Trumbull, CT.

The current and future correct use of EHRs can and will ensure that patients do not receive any more cumulative radiation than is appropriate, regardless of whether the ordering physician has them, because the radiologist does, originating in the diagnostic device itself. 

“This is actually an improvement over the pharmaceutical model,” Christiano writes, “in that typically what is captured is which pharmaceuticals were ordered, not necessarily what was taken by the patient. (How many times has a patient admitted forgetting to take their required medication or taking it at the wrong time of day?)”

“With the rise of healthcare IT in this country,” he continues, “practical examples and role models are beneficial—and necessary if we are to change the operating culture of physicians. Examples already exist in radiology and should be leveraged whenever possible.”

Related seminar: National Diagnostic Imaging Symposium

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