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Medical Imaging Informatics: How It Improves Radiology Practice Today

Journal of Digital Imaging
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1007/s10278-007-9010-2
  • Article
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Medicine


Medical Imaging Informatics: How It Improves Radiology Practice Today J. Raymond Geis KEY WORDS: Productivity, imaging informatics, radiol- ogy workflow, PACS, PACS implementation, Radiology information systems (RIS), radiologist productivity BGreat case, next case.[ —Private practice radiologists’ mantra BFaster, better, cheaper...[ —Business paradigm Radiologists are under pressure to add more value to medical imaging—to provide more educated, accurate, useful, and efficient interpre- tations in the face of increasingly large and complex imaging studies and to communicate this information quickly and in the most useful manner. The radiology department and radiologist both need to be better, faster, and cheaper. Medical imaging informatics (MII) includes many of the processes radiologists need to reach these goals. MII is the development, application, and assessment of information technology (IT) for cli- nical medical imaging. It includes the interfaces of IT and people.1Y3 In practical terms, MII already occurs at a basic level throughout radiology prac- tice, from the moment a clinician considers ordering an imaging study, until images and interpretation are used to plan the patient’s treatment. MII is not an academic exercise. Every radiol- ogist should appreciate its basics. Radiologists do not need to write computer code, but their lives will be better if they comprehend MII benefits, products, and processes and how to implement and integrate these systems at visionary and managerial levels. Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and Radiology information systems (RIS) are the most visible parts, but MII is more than that. Radiologists were intimately involved in PACS and RIS throughout their evolution. Now, as basic PACS/RIS become commodities in radiology practices, radiologists may lose their informatics focus. They delegate it to the IT department, radiology administrator, or certified imag

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