Home > EHR, meaningful use, Medicare > Meaningful Use Workgroup-Specialist Subgroup Discusses Draft Policy Recommendation on Image Sharing/Access

Meaningful Use Workgroup-Specialist Subgroup Discusses Draft Policy Recommendation on Image Sharing/Access

During this morning’s HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) HIT Policy Committee-Meaningful Use (MU) Workgroup teleconference, members of the Specialist Subgroup presented a draft recommendation on image sharing/access and MU.  The purpose of the draft is to provide policy direction to the HIT Policy Committee and HIT Standards Committee members as they begin to explore imaging related standards later this year.

Long-term goal: to improve the quality and efficiency of health care by promoting the sharing of clinical images among health care providers and with consumers.

Areas to be addressed in imaging:

  1. Standards 
  2. Viewing technology and incorporation into EHRs 
  3. Sharing of images

Example of the kind of objective that could be put forward for viewing:

Access at least one image using a viewing function that displays the image within the context of the patient’s health record; the viewing technology should have sufficient resolution and function to support in-office viewing.

Example of the kind of objective that could be put forward for sharing images:

Perform at least one test of the capability to exchange images among providers of care and patient authorized entities electronically.

Considerations:

  • The objectives must be assessed for feasibility. E.g., what are the cost implications for small practices? 
  • Consider limiting to “static” images such as X-rays and single shots of MRI scans, as opposed to the more complex 3-D or time series images (full MRI scans, catheterization movies, etc.). 
  • Need to assess the cost benefit of different levels of resolution and function for different uses such as second opinions or patient education. The first functions should be simple viewing without windowing or complex processing. 
  • How should consumer access (viewing and access control) be implemented? Like other HIE? 
  • Several architectures are possible, such as direct transfer of static images or images servers for all images, but we wish to remain neutral on architecture. 
  • How can we ensure sufficient time and resources to go from certification to implementation (standards, training, etc.) before expecting successful use? 
  • The requirements should be for sending as well as receiving (e.g., radiology, cardiology). 
  • The viewer should feel integrated into record, not just a link to sign into a PACS system. 
  • The interpretation should accompany the image for consumers. 
  • The objectives should cover EPs and EHs.
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Categories: EHR, meaningful use, Medicare
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