RSNA: EMRs play role in tracking medical imaging radiation dose

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Government agencies, healthcare professional societies and patient advocacy groups aim to minimize radiation exposure from imaging and improve patient safety. To that end, researchers have developed the Radiation Exposure Monitoring (REM) profile, a health IT initiative intended to be integrated with patients’ EMR and other enterprise data collection systems, according to a lecture at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

The REM profile provides a standards-based mechanism for automatically communicating dose information to systems designed to record, monitor and analyze this information, making it possible for care sites to track the exposure of individual patients to determine whether actual exposure is in line with best practices guidelines and to share information with local or national registries set up to aggregate and analyze patient radiation dose information.

The REM profile is conceived as part of a health information exchange network for sharing of medical images and other health documents through personal health record (PHR) accounts.

"The network will help improve longitudinal health records, provide an exam history to reduce the number of redundant examinations, and reduce radiation exposure to the individual and the population at large," said David S. Mendelson, MD, professor of radiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and co-chair of the board of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International.

Vendors working to adopt the REM profile include Agfa, EDL, GE Healthcare, InfiMed, Krucom, MedicalCommunications, Siemens Healthcare, Softway Medical and Toshiba America Medical Systems, according to Kevin O’Donnell, a senior manager for systems development at Toshiba who has worked on the REM profile.

The REM profile is part of the IHE initiative, which was launched in 1997 by the RSNA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.