The Digital Imaging Adoption Model was presented during the European Congress of Radiology in Vienna in early March. Developed by HIMSS Analytics and the European Society of Radiology, it aims at assessing hospital imaging departments in terms of IT capabilities in order to identify best practices and push the market. MedicalExpo met with Jörg Studzinski, Senior Consultant at HIMSS Europe.
MedicalExpo e-magazine: How does DIAM work?
Jörg Studzinski: We have developed a kind of model or roadmap that imaging departments can use in order to know how they can progress over time in terms of IT capabilities. It goes from stage 0 to stage 7. Stage 0 means that they have relatively low capabilities in terms of IT support for imaging. Stage 7 would be the highest stage, with very advanced use of information technologies, population health management, big data, etc.
For that model, we created a survey and checklists that we send out to hospitals and external imaging centers for free. We use their responses to calculate a score showing where they are in the model, to identify what kind of gaps they might have and help them improve. As a neutral organization, the only recommendations we make is how to close the gaps or what actions they need to take in order to reach higher stages in the model.
We have developed a kind of model or roadmap that imaging departments can use in order to know how they can progress over time in terms of IT capabilities.
ME e-magazine: What kinds of questions do you ask in this survey?
Jörg Studzinski: There are 10 focus areas that we assess. We ask about software infrastructure that is available within the organization. Do they have a radiology information system and is it integrated into the electronic medical records of the hospital? Do they have an image management solution like a PACS (picture archiving and communications system) or archives? Do they use speech recognition?
There is also a section about health information exchange. With which external organizations do they exchange imaging studies? What is the geographic scope of external data exchange activities? What kind of technology do they use for external data exchange? There is also a section about workflow and process security, and one on data mining.
ME e-magazine: What is the purpose of DIAM?
Jörg Studzinski: To make organizations aware of potential workflow or infrastructure gaps so they can create a better strategy for the future. We also want to identify best practices. If we find organizations at the higher stages of the model, we would like to make the public aware of them, to show how they achieved this level and how others can learn from them.
Last but not least, we also want to push the market so that the industry is delivering the right products and to help organizations request leading technologies and capabilities from their vendors.
ME e-magazine: How did you come up with this idea?
We created a survey and checklists that we send out to hospitals and external imaging centers for free. We use their responses to calculate a score.
Jörg Studzinski: HIMSS Analytics has a similar model for electronic medical records in hospitals that has been used for 10 years. We have rated over 9,000 hospitals already with that model. The ESR was aware of it and thought it might be good to have a similar model for imaging departments. So they asked us if we could create it.
ME e-magazine: Is the model only for radiology departments?
Jörg Studzinski: Since we collaborate with the ESR, we wanted our first survey to assess only radiology departments. Next, we want to roll out a model for other imaging departments. We’ll need to make some changes to the survey so it will be suitable for cardiology, oncology, dermatology or other areas. The goal is to be able to assess an entire hospital with that model. For example, we would assess the three major imaging services in the hospital and create a composite, a sort of average of the three. This would give us a score for the organization as a whole.