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 Industry Watch

Industry Watch

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   November 2012

Honey, I shrunk the sequencer

DNA sequencing took to the road in the United Kingdom this September when a pair of MINI Coopers traversed the country carrying Ion Personal Genome Machines from Life Technologies in their trunks. The eight-stop university tour aimed to show “how we can make accurate sequencing accessible for all,” says Peter Silvester, Life Technologies’ president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and how simple (and truly mini) this technology has become.

One of the many uses for the machines is to sequence the DNA of a bacterium or virus for identification purposes and to develop disease treatments for people. A long-term mission is to help create personalized medicine solutions by using a patient’s unique genetic information to help physicians target the right medicine to the right person at the right time.

In the U.S., Life Technologies has chosen to stretch its legs a little (well, a lot) when it comes to demos. Since 2010, the company’s Ion Bus, featuring Ion Torrent technology, has been cruising back and forth across the country to visit universities, medical centers and conferences in a tricked-out 1976 Greyhound. The lengthy lab on wheels includes several semiconductor sequencing machines and loads of learning space. Find out more at

Five-second x-ray systems roll into Texas

University Health System is one of the first organizations in the U.S. to install Carestream’s DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray Systems. The DRX-Revolution units are part of an order for five Carestream wireless digital radiography (DR) systems to help improve care at University Hospital in the South Texas Medical Center and a new outpatient Clinical Pavilion in downtown San Antonio. The wheeled systems provide bedside imaging and allow physicians to view x-ray images in about five seconds, which can lead to rapid diagnosis and treatment. They also deliver process improvements for everyone involved in the imaging workflow, from technologists to physicians, radiologists and specialists.

The DRX-Revolution systems are currently in use at University Hospital’s emergency center, intensive care units, surgical suites and nursing units. The 498-bed hospital has 12 floors and serves as the leading Level 1 trauma center for San Antonio and all of South Texas.

“Carestream’s DRX-Revolution is our mobile imaging platform for the future,” says Rick Pena, University Hospital’s director of radiology. “The ability to communicate wirelessly with our RIS/PACS enables images to be immediately read by radiologists and viewed by physicians throughout the hospital.”

Learn more at

AHIMA wants unified standards for EHRs

During its annual convention held Oct. 1-3, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) called for improved and unified health information governance to standardize electronic health record (EHR) use. The aim is to ensure that the technology fulfills its promise of guiding better, more efficient patient care.

Aspects of health information governance were addressed throughout AHIMA’s 84th annual Convention and Exhibit in Chicago. Focusing the spotlight on EHRs provided an opportunity for experts and those working in the field to discuss the latest insight and developments into an issue that affects every aspect of the healthcare system.

“Unified data governance principles will help promote accuracy and consistency and reduce ambiguity,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “AHIMA stands ready to work with HHS, CMS and other groups to establish the guidelines that will accurately and fairly represent performance and outcomes of care. Data governance and data integrity have been and will be a critical part of AHIMA’s strategic plan, and we will continue to lead the discussions and the solutions developed in this field.”

Recent concerns that EHR implementation could lead to fraud further highlight the need to establish standards that will address data integrity, patient safety and quality measurement, as well as traditional concerns regarding billing fraud.

For decades, AHIMA has led the call for uniform interoperable data and information, including guidelines for coding standards. Since 2003, AHIMA has also urged CMS to adopt a national set of coding guidelines for hospital reporting of emergency department and clinic visits.

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