Radiologists might sometimes wonder if they’re operating in a health care vacuum. As federal initiatives and health IT lead to greater integration of the care delivery system, and health information exchange (HIE) initiatives means more providers are communicating, though, that sense will change.
The efforts to create more efficient data exchange and improve communication among radiologists and other providers are not just about compliance, say those physicians who have been at the forefront of these HIE initiatives for RSNA. Quality improvement is about connecting radiology with patient care -- something that can, at times, be lost.
Imaging quality on mobile devices, particularly tablets, continues to improve. And download speeds keep getting faster, an important consideration when you’re talking about big files. That means diagnostic-quality mobile readers soon should be commonplace. I’m not aware of anyone offering a 4G wireless tablet with 1080p resolution yet, but it’s coming.
As soon as that happens, diagnostic radiologists may never have to set foot in a hospital again. How disruptive would that be?
Health Imaging: As radiology grapples with the seemingly endless details of meaningful use (MU), many questions remain. The only certainty, according to an article appearing in the February issue of Academic Radiology, is “that MU is real and will affect radiology for many years to come."
MU is divided into separate programs, with radiologists most likely qualifying under the eligible professional (EP) program through Medicare, wrote the authors. Under the EP program, providers are eligible for incentive payments if they comply during the first four years of the program. It pays to comply early because if compliance is reached by October 2012, providers are eligible for the maximum payment of $44,000, which will be paid out over five years.
Incentives are only part of the equation, however, as penalties for noncompliance will be introduced gradually after 2015, wrote the authors.
Apple is a company that builds stuff for consumers. Macs. iPods. iPhones. iPads. Though these devices may show up inside businesses, the company rarely promotes them for corporate use, and it has slowly pulled away from the few products it does sell to businesses. Its XServe servers died a premature death this past January. But for some reason, Apple is pushing the iPad into hospitals, playing against its well-polished image as the world’s most successful consumer gadget company.
Afshad Mistri is Apple’s secret weapon in a stealth campaign to get the iPad into the hands of doctors. And it’s a campaign that seems to be paying off.
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