Radiology e-ordering makes meaningful use list, but problems remain

January 19, 2010

CMS’s recently proposed regulations on “meaningful use” and electronic health record certification present both opportunities and challenges for the radiology market.

CMS’s recently proposed regulations on “meaningful use” and electronic health record (EHR) certification present both opportunities and challenges for the radiology market.

The good news is that proposed regulations now recognize and support the use of computerized radiology order entry and acknowledge the availability of computerized decision support tools, which will make our industry much more efficient and transparent.

The not-so-good news is that despite the growing importance of medical imaging in diagnosing and treating the nation’s most critical health issues-cancer and heart disease-specialty EHRs, such as those in radiology information systems (RIS), are still not recognized.

Additionally, many of the meaningful use criteria are irrelevant to the practice of radiology. In order to move this issue forward and ensure that medical imaging is included in the national dialogue, we, as an industry, will be challenged to address issues of quality, promote use of tools that provide transparency, and speak up.

The e-Ordering Coalition and its Provider Roundtable are working closely with the ACR and other industry organizations to address these issues. We are preparing a response during the HHS and CMS open comment period. For more information or to get involved, contact Liz Quam (lquam@cdirad.com) or Nancy Koenig (nkoenig@merge.com).

Nancy Koenig is president of Merge Healthcare’s Fusion Division. Liz Quam is the executive director of the Quality Institute at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in Minneapolis and a founding member of the Imaging e-Ordering Coalition.