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321 VI Using Standards Andrew Casertano VistA Imaging Disclaimer This summarizes work of the Veterans Health Administration, Office of Information (VHA OI). It may amplify elements of private sector activities or products.

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321 vi using standards

321 VI Using Standards

Andrew Casertano

VistA Imaging


This summarizes work of the Veterans Health Administration, Office of Information (VHA OI).

It may amplify elements of private sector activities or products.

None of the information is meant to endorse private sector activities, obligate the Federal Government to follow any particular course of action, nor to espouse an official position of the Federal Government, for the present or in the future.

what does pacs stand for
What does PACS stand for?
  • Picture your Assets Completely Spent
  • Promise Anything to Close Sale
  • Pain And Constant Suffering
  • Press Anykey to Crash System
  • Property the Administrator Can’t Sell
  • Picture Archiving and Communications System
  • (all of the above?)

Ref: SCAR 2005, Horii

hl7 and dicom
  • HL7
    • Message protocol to update product databases
    • Standard used by Hospital, Radiology, & Lab Information Systems
    • Used to exchange objects and to integrate with Information Systems
    • Standard used by acquisition modalities, PACS
typical standards overview
Typical Standards Overview

Training Summary: “DICOM is the standard for medical imaging.”

The details:Read these 4,000 pages.


Let’s learn about standards differently …

lack of hit standards
Lack of HIT Standards
  • Inhibits Interoperability
  • Costs More
  • Slows Adoption of new technologies
  • Introduces Medical errors and Patient Risk
  • Proprietary interfaces mean vendor lock-in and an inflexible environment for any changes
  • Less effective and efficient
  • Disaster response and recovery
  • Human and Software Errors leading to patients safety in jeopardy
  • Improper disclosure of patient health information
  • Cost Overruns
hit standards
HIT Standards
  • Patient Safety
  • Interoperability
  • Rapid Deployment of integrated systems
  • Reduced cost of integrating devices
  • Data Recovery
  • Security/Privacy
  • Streamlining Patient Care
roles of vista imaging
Roles of VistA Imaging

Technical Strategy


  • Honest Broker/ Facilitator
  • Develop/Integrate
executive order on interoperability
Interoperability –exchange data accurately, securely and consistently between HIT systems

HIT systems shall use interoperability standards in contracting

Executive Order on Interoperability
clinical endorsements of interoperability
Clinical Endorsements of Interoperability
  • The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation and The Board of Directors of the American Society of Anesthesiologists endorsed the following statement of support for interoperability:“…that intercommunication and interoperability of electronic medical devices leads to important advances in patient safety and patient care, and that the standards and protocols to allow such seamless intercommunication should be developed fully with these advances in mind.” 
  • “…interoperability poses safety and medico legal challenges as well.  The development of standards and production should achieve maximum patient safety, efficiency, and outcome benefit.”
  • Reference: MDPnP Getting Connected for Safety,
  • http://mdpnp.org/Endorsements_of_Interop.html February 2008:
devices rely on standards
FDA CDRH – oversees the manufacturing performance and safety of devices

Class II devices require a ‘510K’ Pre-market Notification

The risk analysis

Reliance on standards - a declaration of conformity

Conformance testing

Devices rely on standards
what interoperability provides
HIT systems are unified through a shared VistA EMR

All providers have access to complete, up-to-date patient information




Technology Infrastructure

What Interoperability provides

Diagnostic Labs






& Staff

the challenge of interoperability
The Challenge of Interoperability
  • Unwillingness of healthcare providers
    • Psychological and cultural issues
    • Resistance to change Lack of enterprise vision, Loss of control, Perceived risk
  • Unwillingness of vendors
    • Proprietary systems and formats
    • Loss of competitive advantage
    • Technical obstacles
imaging beyond radiology
Imaging Beyond Radiology
  • The medical enterprise has significant imaging volume beyond radiology
  • PACS has a proven ROI
  • Moving the vision of radiology PACS to other clinical departments will:
    • Improve the effectiveness of your clinical team with a single point of image display
    • Improve patient care with a more integrated record
    • Improve the speed of clinical care
evolution of imaging
Evolution of Imaging

Single modality applications

Radiology-wide applications

Interfaced radiology information systems and medical imaging management – RIS/PACS

Fully integrated enterprise imaging and workflow solutions

evolution of medical imaging

Compute intensive reconstruction & analysis

Standards-based interoperability

Integrated IT architecture

Content management &

Multi-site image sharing

Petabytes of images to

be stored and managed for decades

Evolution of Medical Imaging

Over the next 10 years, storage, computing, and data integration needs willgrow exponentially driven by Medical Imaging.

vista imaging timeline 1988 2009

2008 - 2009 VA/DoD Importer

VA/DoD Image Sharing


2007 TeleReader & IHS Using VI

2006 VistARad Redesign

2005 Remote Image Views

2003 Index Terms

2002 VistA Imaging 3.0 Mandate

2002 Document Scanning

2001 VistA Imaging 2.5 FDA Clearance

1998 Gigabit Ethernet


1997 VistA Imaging 2.0

1997 VistARad

1996 VistA Imaging GUI

1995 DICOM Development

1993 1st VistA Imaging PACS Interface

1990 VistA Imaging Operational at Washington DC

1988-90 VistAImagingPrototype for VA

1980’s Personal Computers

1990’s MS Windows – TCP/IP

1980’s Decentralized Hospital Computer Program

VistA Imaging Timeline1988 - 2009
where are we going
Where Are We Going?
  • Respiratory Imaging, Bronchscopy
  • Gastrointestinal Imaging, Endoscopy
  • Intra-Operative Imaging, Laproscopy
  • Orthopedic Imaging, Arthoscopy
  • Imaging of the eye, Opthalmology
  • Ear / Nose / Throat, Otolaryngology
  • Microscope Imaging, Pathology
imaging enhances an interdisciplinary approach
Imaging Enhances an Interdisciplinary Approach
  • PTSD is strongly associated with mild traumatic brain injury (i.e., concussion), NEJM, January 2008, Vol. 358, No. 5 and The war within : Neurobiological alterations in posttraumatic stress disorder utilized neuroimaging (including PET, MR) accessed May 2008
  • Active prevention in diabetic eye disease (visual impairment in diabetics can be prevented with active regular screening) National Library of Medicine www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov accessed May 2008
  • Dental images can detect potentially dangerous calcium deposits in the carotid arteries (associated with strokes and heart attacks) www.sciencedaily.com accessed May 2008

More Data Over the Last 3 Years Than Previous 42,000 years Combined

40,000 BCEcave paintings

bone tools

P e t a b y t e s


0 C.E.

paper 105



electricity, telephone

transistor 1947

computing 1950

Late 1960s



The Web



Source: UC Berkeley, School of Information Management and Systems.

cumulative images captured 2003 2008
As of May 2008, 808 million images have been captured, stored and available online using VistA Imaging Software.

FY 2004 – 72 million new images.

FY 2005 – 104 million new images.

FY 2006 – 155 million new images.

FY 2007 – 183 million new images.

Cumulative Images Captured 2003 – 2008

Over 20K new images captured each hour

vista saves money
VistA Saves Money
  • The cost per patient has remained low and stayed steady for the VA
  • Compare with Medicare and the medical consumer price index have remained high and are increasing.
  • GRAPHIC SOURCE: The Washington Post, April 10, 2007
standards last a long time
The major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse!

The Space Shuttle engineers who designed the Solid Rocket Boosters was shipped by train from the factory to the launch site

Standards last a long time
standards last a long time26
The US standard railroad width derives via Europe standard

This is traced back to original specification of the Imperial Roman war chariot

Standards last a long time
technology lifetime
Technology Lifetime

Standards (DICOM, HL7, IHE, SNIA…) 25- 50 years

Infrastructure (IP, SAN,…) 10- 20 years

Programming Languages (PL/1, Pascal, C, C++, Java, …) 5-10 years

Software (data formats, compatibility, …)2-5 years

Hardware (Network cards, video cards, processors, …) 1-2 years

Shapiro, IBM

volume value and velocity
Volume, Value and Velocity

Volume of Data

Reference data is growing exponentially and is being stored for long periods of time.

Value of Information

Image data is actively referenced, and must be stored and protected for life to meet clinical and regulatory requirements.

Velocity of Change

Address the demands for increased storage and higher performance.

consistent integration
Consistent Integration
  • VistA was awarded with both an Innovations in Government Award and a IHE User Success Story
  • One interface for over 400 different models of instruments!
  • Consistency & Interoperability throughout the US
patient safety current statistics
Patient Safety: Current Statistics
  • One in five Americans (22%) report that they or a family member have experienced a medical error of some kind.
  • Nationally, this translates into an estimated 22.8 million people with at least one family member who experienced a mistake in a doctor's office or hospital.

Reference - http://www.patientsafetyfocus.com/ accessed May 2008

Deaths and costs continue to rise. In their fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study, Health Grades Inc., cites that errors in treatment resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of Medicare patients in the US, costing $8.8 billion.
  • HealthGrades Inc. analyzed over 41 million patient records for the study and found that approximately 3 percent of all Medicare patients suffered from some medical error-- which equates to about 1.1 million Patient Safety Incidents (PSIs) from 2004-2006. In the report, Health Grades describes medical errors as “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim…[including] problems in practice, products, procedures, and systems."
  • There were 270,491 actual in hospital deaths that occurred among patients who developed one or more of 16 PSIs and the report states, "Using previous research, we calculated that 238,337 were attributable to patient safety incidents and potentially preventable."
“Issues arising from badly designed and poorly integrated HIT systems harm or kill more patients every year than do medications and medical devices yet there is absolutely no control or regulation over them”

Quote Reference: Duke University Health System CIO

Asif Ahmad Computerworld, April 28, 2008

us population dose
US Population Dose

Ref: Dr. S. Balter, Columbia University, Radiation Dose Data Management, February 2008

radiation overexposure
FDA CDRH case study of radiation therapy overexposure resulting in death

Contributing factors include lack of clinic verification, no method for entering data into software, interpretation of data by the software

Vendors now have proprietary solutions

Radiation Overexposure
  • Reference: FDA Safety Assurance Case Workshop, February 21, 2008
getting connected for patient safety
Getting Connected for Patient Safety
  • “Many improvements in patient safety and healthcare efficiency require systems solutions that cannot be implemented due to the lack of interoperability”
  • Safe device #1 + Safe device #2 = Unsafe system
  • Reference: FDA Safety Assurance Case Workshop, February 21, 2008
data recovery
5.4 M images were recovered after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans in 2006

13.08 M images were recovered in Tennessee, after a computer room flood in 2008

Data Recovery
the selling of sensitive patient data
The Selling of Sensitive Patient Data

Reference, The Los Angeles Times, California Board of Health Report,

May 13, 2008, accessed online http://www.latimes.com/news/


Reference, The Los Angeles Times, California Department of Health Services,

May 13, 2008, accessed online http://www.latimes.com/news/

old school
Old School

Reference: Journal of Digital Imaging, Siegel and Reiner, 2003

why healthcare it standards
Why Healthcare IT Standards?
  • HIT Standards last much longer than hardware and software systems
  • Standards based solutions provide a higher level of effectiveness and efficiencies
  • Medical Errors contribute to more than 100K US deaths/yr
  • Interoperability and proprietary are often mutually exclusive
  • HIT Standards based solutions provide lower costs, more flexibility and enable better patient care