Standards Update: Integrating systems outside the radiology departmentHerman Oosterwijk, president, OTech Inc.The first meeting of the new DICOM Working Group 20, a joint DICOM/HL7 committee that deals
Herman Oosterwijk, president, OTech Inc.
The first meeting of the new DICOM Working Group 20, a joint DICOM/HL7 committee that deals with issues in integrating images into information systems, occurred at the recent HL7 meeting in San Diego.
The impetus for this joint standards activity is twofold. It has become increasingly clear that when providing patient information to a physician, including an image can complement and enhance that information. Images are also helpful for physician reimbursement. Under the new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations in the U.S., attaching digital images to an electronic claim would facilitate and simplify information exchange between payers and providers, in accordance with HIPAA mandates.
IHE, the joint activity being sponsored by RSNA and HIMSS to demonstrate and achieve interoperability between imaging and information systems, is also driving the need to address integration issues. These issues include: