Pathology and radiology in Pulse+IT

The digital version of the February issue of Pulse+IT Magazine is now online, with a theme of how the pathology and radiology sectors are using eHealth and health IT.

Pathology and radiology were two of the first disciplines to begin using IT to help improve both workflow and the reporting of results more than two decades ago, and the industry is continuing to innovate.

In the February issue of Pulse+IT, MSIA's Vincent McCauley looks at how new developments in eHealth pathology will hopefully result in richer, more consistent data automatically appearing in clinicians' electronic notes and smart, seamless electronic diagnostic ordering systems integrated into the clinical workflow.

We look in depth at the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia's Pathology Units and Terminology Standardisation (PUTS) project, which will lead to a revised policy for the units and measurements used in pathology reporting.

This project has also standardised the names of tests that GPs and specialists order, which will lead to a list of orderable test codes and are planned to be integrated into general practice clinical software.

We also take a look at the revised standard for the electronic exchange of pathology and diagnostic imaging orders and results using HL7 v2.4, which will now include the Healthcare Identifiers Service to allow better identification of patients in test orders and results.

Matt Nielsen of InterSystems takes an overview of the changing landscape of the laboratory information systems market, while CSIRO's Anthony Nguyen and Guido Zuccon explain their work in developing new software that can extract free text data to aid decision support.

Uploading pathology results to the PCEHR is considered by some to be the make or break of the system, but while a safe system of delivering these results has been designed by NEHTA and the pathology sector, negotiations with the Department of Health and Ageing over how to fund the work have come to a standstill.

New Zealand may have worked out the best way to establish an electronic health record that is useful for clinicians, beginning with the development of the TestSafe clinical data repository to provide easy access to lab results for hospital clinicians over a decade ago. TestSafe has now expanded to include private lab results, diagnostic images and medications, and is now moving on to include clinical documents and electronic orders.

In other features, the CSIRO's David Hansen and Michael Lawley explain how its award-winning software tool, Snapper, can be used to transition from legacy health terminologies to SNOMED CT, and HISA's Louise Schaper takes an overview of the major developments in health informatics this year.

Pulse+IT editor Simon James explains his experiences with updating a general practice to include the new ePIP requirements, a task not made easy by a lack of co-ordination from the various government help desks set up for the new eHealth system.

He also recaps our readership survey, and announces the availability of our new Pulse+IT app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It currently contains all of the back issues of the print magazine from 2012, with the February 2013 edition to be released on this platform shortly.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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