EHR data re-use: A new perspective

The world is growing and fruiting with the help of technological conceptual advancements. These improvements in technology, has brought a change that all the sectors now use to serve with modern facilities and maintain the best coordination among these facilities. The introduction of medical software like EMR and EHR is the advancement in medical sector which coordinates with the areas of clinical decision making, drug prescribing etc. The clinical decision making, and drug and treatment prescribing are the first hand uses of EHR data. But there are some alternate uses of EHR data also. We better can say it to be the re-use of EHR data. Mostly in case of clinical and other drug related researches and studies the reuse of EHR/EMR data is incorporated. A clinical research is geared by the need to provide reliable data to support safety and efficacy. And the data from EHR lays the foundation for the reliability of the data from a clinical research which is to be used in furtherance. Data retrieved from medical software systems like EHR should be of such a quality that it improves the efficiency of patient care. This quality concern should not be there only from the point of first use of EHR data but also from the re-uses of data mostly by researchers to support healthcare. But the re-use of EHR data must be treated with caution, because the data protection issue is always pertained to reuse of data like the EHR data. So, we need a system that can help us in achieving a proper balance in between the protection of data in one hand and more optimized reuse of data on the other.

The use and re-use of EHR data in the healthcare information segment is always accompanied by various drawbacks. These drawbacks accompanying re-use of data vary from lack of legal and technical standards to uniformity of use. We need proper standards and protocols of data collection and the re-use. Only a properly collected piece of information whether primary or secondary can help in achieving research objectives. The re-use of data, generated by a medical software be it an EHR or any other record keeping system, should be cost-effective. Clinical experiments or trials done with re-use of EHR data is a cost effective way than collecting the data afresh. The uniformity in approach in re-use of data from medical software (EHR) is another point of concern in our discussion. The present situation in health care requires researches to carry out research studies in isolated fashion at different locations. The use of the EHR which is the common medical software in use varies widely across different nations worldwide and so challenges the re-use of EHR data in clinical researches and other uses. Other issues like the maintenance of patient confidentiality, requirement of time and cost effective resources are a few to requiring attention in the field of re-use of EHR data. A qualitative control on re-use of EHR data can lead to a sustainable, beneficial and commercial impact on treatment and drug development which ultimately will lead to better healthcare system in a viable economy.

With the increased focus on HIT (Health Information Technology), the situations in US and EU in re-use of EHR data is changing positively. Introduction of HITECH act in US is an initiative in the direction of Health Information Technology. The European Seventh Framework Program for research and technological development is the initiative by EU to focus on HIT. The use of proper EHR systems in place is growing fast in US. The vision of the EFPIA EHR task force is another forcing factor that will help in attaining the standards for re-use of EHR data.

And in future with such a huge amount of efforts we surely will have a proper system with proper medical software in place which will coordinate in re-use of EHR or any such data with satisfaction.

2 Imaging the medical business: DICOM

The efficiency in every sphere of life due to the technological and scientific advancements includes the health sector also. With the technological and scientific progress the people are becoming more aware of their health and nutrition. And due to this growing importance on health, the medical sector is also experiencing a huge growth. This growth in the medical sector is accompanied by the technological improvements as in the cases of other sectors. Almost all the hospitals and clinics are using technological advancements in their practices. Be it the medical software for billing or the EMR software system they are using. It is estimated that the use of an appropriate medical software product in place has the potential to increase the earnings by a considerable amount of more than or equal to 30%. So, simply you cannot neglect the importance that a right medical software product bears in medical industry.

And in this age of advancement any medical business unit without the imaging division is just incomplete. Imaging in medical business is of a great importance that nobody can ignore and even alter. The image reports like cardiographs, biomagnetic imaging, computer radiography, tomography, diaphanographs, microscopy, endoscopy, mammography, spectroscopy, radio fluoroscopy, thermographs, ultra sound, x-ray angiography are a few of the imaging services to name that comes into the scene when we talk about medical imaging reports. Today’s treatment of a patient is incomplete if no one of these images accompanies his records. And with these imaging services there is a common standard for the handling, storage, printing and transmission of imaged information in medical imaging. This common standard or the common format for the images is known as DICOM.

DICOM is the abbreviation for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. The Picture Archiving and Communication System or simply PACS which is a system, uses this standard for the all the medical imaging. DICOM includes a file format definition and a network communication protocol. And this network communication protocol uses TCP/IP for communication in between the systems. DICOM enables the integration of scanners, printers, workstations, computer systems and other network hardware into PACS. DICOM supportive devices come with the capacity to support different DICOM classes separately. DICOM is developed by American College of Radiology (ACR) and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). The present DICOM is the third version of this standard. The first version was released in the year 1985. It was ACR/NEMA 300. The second version came in the year 1988 by the name ACR/NEMA V2.0.

DICOM bears some very necessary information along with the images like the patient ID, which is inseparable from this information even by mistake. While handling DICOM data different medical software products are used. Software tools for the transfer, organizing of DICOM data, for image supports etc. are very widely used. Trial Wire is a very useful medical software used in DICOM data transfer, de-identify and handling. There are other software products like GDCM, OsiriX, ImageVis3D, VRRender, ImageJ, MicroDicom, Medstrat, kPacs, UniPACS etc. which are very commonly used in DICOM interpretation.

Trial Wire is a medical software product used to transfer DICOM image from one to another web enabled computer.  It is a java based tool available free of cost. The use of a medical software product like Trial Wire reduces the cost associated with the couriers used to transfer DICOM data from one location to the other. Trial Wire also provides an audit trail for any changes made to the DICOM data in order to comply with the HIPAA regulations.

3 Medical Software in HIS sphere:

Automated health practice management systems, e-prescribing, CAT scanners, heart rate monitoring with software are a few of the names from the medical area in the 21st technology driven century. From the patient’s personal data to the cardiographs everything has got the driving force of technological advancement. Introduction of PACS or Picture Archiving and Communication System and DICOM or Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine has changed the way of imaging in the medical practices. Similarly the introduction of EMR/EHR medical software has changed the way of medical record keeping. In most of the hospitals and clinics in EU, US or Canada you would notice the use of medical software like an EMR system in practice very well. Likewise the introduction of medical software for billing purpose is another important contribution of modern technology. Medical billing software used in billing has introduced the comfort of coordination among other medical services like lab report of patients and its coordination with proper insurance claims etc.

Medical Software is the modern technological term that has driven the medical sector to an unalterable stage of advancement. The introduction of various medical software products has changed the way of management and even the administration concerned with hospitals and clinics across EU and US. Medical software use even in health informatics like HIS is of great help. HIS or Hospital Information System is the platform covering all the medical related clinical as well as administrative sections. From the simple hospital discipline management to the management of health records, financial records, and other medical reports all are covered under this single umbrella named HIS.

Hospital Information System or simply HIS is the information system assisting all the administrative, financial and clinical aspects of a hospital or a clinic. HIS also known as CIS or Clinical Information System comprises of a comprehensive, integrated information system covering all the papered and non-papered software based clinical as well as administrative medical areas of concern. A simple HIS construction can be understood as the sphere covering the entire medical aspects from EMR systems to the software based billing services. A proper HIS is always aimed at achieving best possible support towards the health care of patients and an adequate management by deploying either medical software products or machineries along with responsible technicians/persons. Radiology information system, Laboratory Information System, PACS, etc. are the sub categories of Hospital Information System. EMR, EHR, software based billing services, insurance claims, patient care, profit drive, hospital management, administrative works all belong to the sphere of HIS.

The advantage from HIS includes well maintained decision support system in healthcare, exchange of information towards the betterment of the healthcare services, coordinating the standards of ancillary services with the primary one, enabling referring physicians and doctors to access all the studies and reports via a single user interface etc. In a nut shell a proper HIS with adequate medical software support is the demand of the time, conforming to which can rise your business in the medical sector to an incredible level.

Source by chandan kumar

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