In 2006, has the EHR's time finally come?

April 2, 2006

The editors at CMP Healthcare Media have been watching development of the electronic health record for several years, waiting for a time when all the stars might align-technology, infrastructure, and interest from providers. That time may be upon us. One quarter of healthcare executives polled by HIMSS claim to have a functioning medical record in place, and another 36% are plunging ahead with plans of their own.

The editors at CMP Healthcare Media have been watching development of the electronic health record for several years, waiting for a time when all the stars might align-technology, infrastructure, and interest from providers. That time may be upon us. One quarter of healthcare executives polled by HIMSS claim to have a functioning medical record in place, and another 36% are plunging ahead with plans of their own.

What exactly an EHR is may still be subject to debate, but standards for data sharing and integration are quickly breaking down barriers among departments and silos of information. As business editor Greg Freiherr notes in his article on page S-12, these standards should allow health entities to become more fully integrated, whether they rely on a single vendor platform or connect multiple systems. The result will expose radiology's output, and the specialty's value in the clinical process, more completely to the rest of the clinical team.

Look for Diagnostic Imaging to cover this evolution in practice in the months and years ahead, including the changes in standards and technology as well as the effect that an ever-growing volume of data has on the clinical care process.

-Jane Lowers is special projects editor for Diagnostic Imaging