Agfa HealthCare Focuses on Enhancing the EMR

At HIMSS, Agfa?s theme was ?Visualize the EMR?

Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of IT-enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic image management systems, arrived at February’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting ready to talk about ways to enhance the electronic medical record (EMR).

“Enterprise imaging is the big news,” said Lenny J. Reznik, director, Enterprise Imaging & Information Solutions. “Many customers are well on their way in implementing an EMR, but need a storage and archiving solution and a way to image enable the EMR.”

At HIMSS, the company introduced state-of-the-art solutions developed to store, capture, exchange, and access medical imaging information that can help optimize patient health care. Agfa’s new technology is designed to assist health care organizations, and, in particular, CIOs and CMIOs, in addressing the need to extend the EMR to include support for medical images and related information. This provides physicians with point-of-care access to the complete patient record and improves communication between care providers.

By employing a vendor-neutral, enterprise-class clinical imaging infrastructure, the CMIO/CIO can provide the clinical users with the ability to improve communication, share clinical imaging information, distribute results, and extend upon the capabilities of existing infrastructure technology.

Reznik told Axis Imaging News about Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX Data Center, which provides large-scale multimedia storage for DICOM 3.0 medical images and diagnostic results, including DICOM encapsulated images, reports, waveforms, and PDFs for hospital groups, regional health care organizations, and national medical archives. “The key is to aggregate data into a single location; get it out of department silos and ultimately into one patient record,” said Reznik.

Agfa’s IMPAX Data Center consolidates imaging data from disparate systems into a single point of storage and distribution via the EMR to help speed decision-making. Through Agfa’s enterprise-wide and vendor-neutral image management services, facilities and their clinicians have comprehensive, 24/7 access to images and results while enhancing image-focused communications among interdisciplinary care teams.

Agfa also introduced an innovative medical imaging and results viewer that addresses one of the most common issues facing health care organizations today: extending the EMR or EHR to include support for all medical images and related information, providing physicians with point-of-care access to the longitudinal patient record. Agfa’s viewer embeds image content into the EHR and renders it accessible by those who need it, whether in-hospital clinicians or referring physicians using a wide variety of browsers and networks on their office or home computers.

The IMPAX Data Center Viewer, powered by XERO, is a zero-download, Internet browser-based medical imaging viewer developed to provide ubiquitous access to imaging information by clinicians at the point of care. With Agfa HealthCare’s XERO technology, the user needs no (zero) client software to access a patient’s images. According to the company, any of the most widely used Internet browsers and a simple network connection are all that is needed.

While the company’s latest offerings are targeted to CIOs and CMIOs, Reznik had an important message for radiologists. “What’s good for the enterprise is good for radiologists. It’s a lot easier to have IT handle image distribution, but radiologists who partner with their IT groups will provide better service. Enabling service can only help radiologists.”

— James Markland

The Right RIS for EMR Functionality!

RoentgenWorks RIS streamlines patient management with full procedure code management and mapping to modalities, access to the entire patient record including contact information, and the ability to import patient information from a Continuity of Care Record (CCR) or Continuity of Care Document (CCD).

BRIT Systems Inc had something fresh to talk about at HIMSS. The company debuted its latest addition to the 100% browser-based RoentgenWorks radiology IT solution. RoentgenWorks RIS is the final component to a fully integrated, modular Web-based PACS/RIS with a vendor-neutral archive (VNA), bidirectional HL7 gateway, critical results and ER discordance reporting, voice recognition with structured reporting, and an iPad application for viewing images, reports, and other patient information.

RoentgenWorks RIS includes scheduling and computerized physician order entry in a 100% browser-based environment. The new system, part of the modular RoentgenWorks family of radiology IT products, integrates seamlessly with existing systems (PACS, EMRs) and/or HIE NHIN Gateways.

According to Shelly Fisher, president, BRIT Systems. “RoentgenWorks RIS is built around the concept that radiology groups and clinics will need to implement technology to fulfill meaningful use—yet they shouldn’t have to replace existing, functioning systems.” Fisher explained that the beauty of BRIT’s solution is that radiology groups can implement—and pay for—only the modules they are required to use.

Several RIS features enhance efficiency, such as one click access to patient and physician contact information; creating a patient record and order from within the schedule; ease of rescheduling; and DICOM modality work list support. Patient management is streamlined with full procedure code management with mapping to modalities, access to the entire patient record including contact information, and the ability to import patient information from a Continuity of Care Record (CCR) or Continuity of Care Document (CCD).

— James Markland