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Viztek’s Opal-RAD PACS encompasses a powerful suite of digital radiology tools to achieve a fully integrated patient database, imaging and communications system.

practices that pursue an integrated cloud system that brings together the EHR, RIS and PACS are setting themselves up for fewer regulatory headaches. The key is to find the right cloud provider that understands the demands and flow of the modern radiology practice. The practice that can locate an integrated EHR, PACS and RIS will see myriad benefits,

including interoperability with other systems, a better ability to adapt to meaningful use and other regulations (such as ICD-10) and smoother workflows. For the radiology group that has to read for several outpatient imaging centers and also a nearby hospital, meaningful-use requirements hold them to report on the majority of read exams. This can mean practices need an EHR that can track both outpatient studies and hospital studies. Such a function can be a core feature that can alleviate considerable pressure on the radiologist group’s IT staff that might have performed manual work to meet reporting percentage requirements. The issues with this approach are many and include the risk that staff members will manually miscalculate the number of reads that need reporting data and therefore put the group out of compliance. A robust EHR will be able to prove it is capable of proper reporting and tracking in multiple location environ- ments without manual data logging. Radiology practices should consider the current and future implications of meaningful use when they are in the vetting process for a new EHR provider. Stage 2 of meaningful use was submitted in proposal form in early 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and was finalized in August. Future stages of meaningful use will require even more openness of information with simple access for various stakeholders, including referring physicians, patients and other entities. Quality EHR vendors will offer seamless patient and referring physician portals, where radi- ologists and other specialists have fast and accurate access to all needed data.


Viztek’s Opal-Ortho PACS solution for orthopedic practices offers one single appliance that controls every aspect of orthopedics imaging, integrating the CR or DR solution and the PACS for optimal efficiency. HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY

The government’s main reasons for meaningful-use requirements are to reduce errors, aid the coordination of care, improve public health and maintain patient privacy. The right solution will enable a practice to meet these require- ments and hopefully incentives of future stages, which will require even more intercon- nectedness. Greater access will help meet meaningful use; more importantly, it also provides for more informed and efficient care.

HMT November 2012 27

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