BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
If the number of people willing to travel to HIMSS 2015 is indicative of enthusiasm for the industry as a whole, then this will be a breakout year for interest in health IT. Continuing a running trend, more people registered for HIMSS 2015 than the previous year's conference. More than 43,000 people had registered by the first day of the event. Those who made the trip to Chicago had access to educational sessions and were free to view innovative products and presentations spread out across McCormick Place convention center. Every year, the HIMSS conference serves as a launching pad for many organizations to reveal business announcements and for attendees to discuss the latest health IT products and policies.
Some of the most-analyzed topics at HIMSS 2015 included: Healthcare analytics, interoperability, enterprise imaging, wearable devices, patient engagement, policy, and several other valuable matters to healthcare.
Conversations at the conference about medical imaging often focused on the capabilities of enterprise imaging platforms. Large health systems made clear their demand for a shift from image storage and retrieval systems toward enterprise imaging platforms that offer the following benefits:
- Multi-platform imaging access
- Integration with EHR systems
- Vendor-neutral archiving systems
- Cross-system collaboration and communication
- Advanced reporting and analytics
Some sessions at HIMSS 2015 centered on defining the role of IT departments, a group recognized as a critical asset that provides backend infrastructure to enable high-performing, cost-effective and reliable environments on which imaging systems run. During one session, Sushant Rao, senior director of product marketing at DataCore Software, identified three aspects of a high-performing IT environment:
- Adoption of systems that provide fault tolerance and are available around the clock
- Leverage of flexible software-defined storage
- Implementation of technologies that enhance the performance of picture archiving and communication systems
The shift toward enterprise imaging systems is an appropriate move for hospitals and other health organizations because it may lead to workflow improvements and promote more system interoperability. The healthcare industry is heading toward more value-based and collaborative care models, a change that may have even more providers looking into enterprise imaging platforms. These platforms could clear the way for more sharing of patient information and give authorized healthcare professionals access to relevant medical imaging data.
About the author:
Reda Chouffani is vice president of development at Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.
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