Monday, December 31, 2012

2013, looking back and ahead.

1 million people at Times Square

Well, what a year it was. We kept our healthcare reform on track, EMR implementations are happening at the speed of light, PACS is maturing, and the RSNA annual meeting was so-so with regard to new innovations and attendance.

I am personally involved with an EMR implementation in my hometown at the clinic where I serve on the board, and therefore am experiencing the challenges first-hand. Compared with PACS systems, an EMR is much more diverse and the integration problems are on a much larger scale, but the complexity is less. I tell everyone who is new to this field, if you can learn DICOM, HL7 is but a breeze.

It will be an exciting year going ahead. OTech introduced several new training classes to include advanced hands-on troubleshooting and IHE as well as EMR administration certification. The EMR administration training is based on the recently announced new certifications by PARCA. We already did a couple of pilots of these classes and they were very well received, this will be a great asset to professionals who are working in the PACS field or for new entrants.

Newtown, CT
On a personal note, I have been very much touched by the Connecticut tragedy. We lived in that region, literally 20 minutes from the Newtown site for 5 years when our girls were in elementary school. We consider that time one of the best eras of our life. I remember the cold Halloween walks, where we would need stops with hot chocolate to warm up, the many camping trips with the girls, and the garage filled with girl scout cookies as Johanna, my spouse, was the ultimate girl scout mom. We made many friends and our kids loved their teachers and classmates. Now, I don’t own any guns; I have had my share of using them during my army time. Now I concentrate on collecting stamps and woodworking as hobbies, which are potentially less harmful. But I understand that some people love them and like to collect and use them. I just hope that there is enough momentum for people to consider restricting assault weapons to those who should be using them professionally and not allowing them to be sold at your department store or sporting goods store around the corner.

Anyway, looking forward, I hope and expect that we learn from the past and are looking forward to yet another great year. Happy New Year!