April PACS News Digest

PACS technology is continually evolving. It adjusts to changes in standards, advancements in technology, facilities’ requirements, and healthcare regulations. It’s important to stay informed about the changes in healthcare that may impact the development, operation, maintenance, and growth of PACS systems. Here are some recent news articles on PACS systems, imaging, and industry regulations.

Variation in Use of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging

According to a recent article published in JAMA Internal Medicine, there is not a standard guideline that clinics and hospitals use to determine which testing strategies should be applied to patients with suspected ischemia. The study found that more frequent use of noninvasive cardio imaging was associated with higher admission rates and the higher use of subsequent invasive tests without evidence of a substantial benefit to treatment and short-term outcomes.

New Policy Statement on CV Imaging

A new health policy statement on the use of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The statement is based on an examination of the patterns and drivers of imaging use and the relationship between quality care, patient health outcomes, and medical costs.

Updated Recommendations on Cardiac Imaging Radiation Exposure

New recommendations on radiation exposure from cardiac imaging procedures call for more disclosure between providers and patients about the benefits and risks.

Reduced Dose Rates in Angiogram Platforms

Trends show that the use of radiation for medical imaging continues to increase. New research and technology aims to reduce dose rates for patients and staff. The development of real-time imaging reconstruction algorithms and technical improvements in equipment can reduce the dose without degrading image quality.

Basic Steps to Help Comply with HIPAA Regulations

Privacy compliance is an important issue for radiology groups right now. The Omnibus Rule provides over 500 pages of security related regulations and best practices. The main concern is not the images, but rather the reports and the diagnostic information therein. However, there are some basic steps that can help your practice be compliant, such as encrypting laptops, restricting access rights, and educating employees about the consequences of misusing patient data.

Workgroup Discussions on Patient-Generated Health Data

The Consumer Technology Workgroup provided an updated report to the Health IT Standards Committee on the HIPAA and HITECH legislation enacted to protect patient privacy in light of the growing use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). The Workgroup looked to create clear standards for provider-requested and electronically-submitted patient responses.

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