November 29, 2011
RSNA 2011: Creating a visual EHR
Cerner's booth at RSNA 2011
Adding digital images to a
patient’s electronic health record (EHR) greatly simplifies the problem of
capturing, managing, storing, and distributing these images. Cerner’s ImageAware solution
allows you to capture all media types including document imaging, ECG and other
waveforms, wound care photos, dermatology photos, PACS images and pathology
images in a single virtual archive, creating a visual EHR.
There are numerous advantages to
this model. Clinical efficiency and accuracy are enhanced by having access to
both EHR data and images in a single location. By eliminating silos of
information across various departments, IT management is also simplified. This
will help keep
the cost of expensive imaging procedures down and improve patient safety by
eliminating the redundant request for images.
had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Porter, Cerner’s vice president of ImageAware,
about this technology:
Why is digital imaging such a critical
component of the EHR?
The integration of medical objects with patient
data is essential to creating a comprehensive EHR. Modern health care generates
and regularly uses a variety of media files—video, audio, signal data and
images—for diagnosis and treatment. As a result, it is critical that all of
this information is readily available to physicians, nurses and clinicians in a
meaningful context. Furthermore, by automating image-centric workflows, it
allows organizations to increase productivity and create a single enterprise
wide visual electronic health record.
end-to-end cardiology integration entail?
Cerner’s approach to providing our clients with
an end-to-end cardiology solution is to integrate all the disparate Cardiology
workflows through our PowerChart
Cardiovascular solution embedded in Cerner’s EHR. While
offering tight integration with 3rd party components, PowerChart Cardiovascular
centers its users in the patient record, offering the necessary solutions for
the varying workflows while offering quick and easy access to the relevant EHR
data that cardiology care givers need.
digital imaging relate to hospitals achieving Meaningful Use attestation?
Unfortunately, the Meaningful Use rules as they
stand today are not conducive to specialists like radiologists and pathologists
that typically don’t directly interact with patients. However, most of the
radiologists qualify as eligible providers. This poses a significant challenge
to these providers since they would need to acquire HIT systems and add
workflow processes that don’t directly benefit the care they provide today. The
cost and productivity impact will often far outweigh any benefit from the MU
payments, but with the penalty phase on the horizon it’s not something they can
Given all that, we’re seeing a mix of approaches
in the radiology domain around Meaningful Use. Radiologists that are associated
with a broader institution should work with their institution to be included in
their comprehensive MU approach for eligible providers. For the ones that
cannot be included in a broader institution’s approach… Some are adding the
needed HIT and processes so they can attest and avoid the penalties – Cerner
can provide all the necessary tools if radiologists choose to go this direction.
Others are in a ‘wait and see’ mode with the hope that the rules are altered to
accommodate for their unique situation. There are actually discussions taking
place with the appropriate MU committees around this topic, but nothing has
changed so far.
One other aspect worth noting with regard to
media and Meaningful Use is that there have also been discussions around the
total lack of media in stage 1. Media is part of the patient record, whether
that’s radiology images, would care photos, waveform data, or a video from a
gait study. The current state of how this is handled across institutions is not
conducive to effectively providing care or care coordination. Our hope is that
future stages will address this shortcoming.
How would you describe the ImageAware
The ImageAware framework is built and
designed to be the single source of truth for all imaging and multimedia
content in the context of the EHR. This
platform is capable of handling all imaging and media generated as a byproduct
of the care process. It’s all about making the right information available to
the right people, at the right time… and that means it should all be in the
context of the EHR, not in various disparate silos of information.
of the advancements Cerner has been able to make in regards to radiology
We have been focused on leveraging the power of
our integrated EHR, making critical, relevant EHR data readily accessible to
radiologists during image interpretation, thus providing our clients with an
“only Cerner can” feature.
What has Cerner done to position
itself as a global radiology information systems leader?
Cerner is dedicated to achieving
success in the global radiology markets. Our associates have held face-to-face
meetings and walkthroughs to understand key geographical workflow challenges. By
identifying key collaboration partners, Cerner has addressed international
workflow gaps and turned around needed enhancements to address these. While
there are obviously key requirements per location, the overall workflow and
clinical needs for the radiologist and the department are essentially the same
throughout the world. RadNet
is a world class radiology information system on its own, and when you combine
that with the EHR integration, it’s a solution that can’t be topped.
is exhibiting at the Radiological Society of North America National
(RSNA) conference at McCormick Place, Chicago Nov. 27- Dec. 2,
2011, booth #6208.