Healthcare Informatics Insider

Dear Healthcare Informatics Insider,

Just as the Internet has made the public information resources of the world accessible through a few simple queries from a computer keyboard, the content of digital radiology reports and diagnostic images contained in storage archives offers the same potential. Anonymizing patient identities is no longer a challenge, but effective and efficient data mining still is.

The number of radiology-specific data mining search tools is slowly growing. But put into perspective, use of these tools is far from ubiquitous. The technology more likely could be characterized as being in an early adopter phase.

That's why we've published not one, but two articles about a German-language search tool that's on the brink of becoming a commercial product -- and it's multilingual as well. Attendees at the Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) congress in Pisa were intrigued by a presentation on the pilot use of RadMiner at the University Medical Center Freiburg, reported associate editor Frances Rylands-Monk. In a follow-up article triggered by publication of a new piece in European Radiology, we're now describing how this tool works. Click here for details.

Comparison of the content of reports about a similar topic is one benefit of just-in-time retrievals through data search tools. Preparing a high-quality report, at least for ultrasound exams, is a team effort. Our health IT columnist Dr. Neelam Dugar delves deeply into the background activities and content of creating an ultrasound report. Benefit from her insights by clicking here.

On the other side of the spectrum, Editor-in-chief Philip Ward investigates the subject of CT exams that failed to include important details or did not answer the clinical question. Does this motivate you, members of the Healthcare Informatics Digital Community, to conduct an audit in your own department?

If a patient questions the quality of an interpretation, should radiologists offer second-read services to them through teleconsultations? Frances Rylands-Monk addresses this controversial topic.

If there are healthcare IT topics that you think merit investigation, please do suggest them. Just send an email to me.

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