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Q&A SIIM chair, Dr. James Whitfill

par Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | June 21, 2019
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: Lack of standardization has to be particularly perplexing for companies not used to the healthcare space.
JW: It’s huge. Whether it’s the whole space of interoperability which is hampered by the lack of standardization, or even regular tagging of data making it hard for different algorithms to learn. The lack of standardization also means you can develop an algorithm on a particular training set, but then when you go to implement it, the experience center, the proving set isn’t the same. Due to the lack of standardization, your algorithm might fail dramatically.

HCB News: Last year when we spoke about the top challenges to SIIM members, you mentioned that many have to bridge two different spaces, starting in radiology, for instance, and then moving into the enterprise IT space. And it made it hard for others to understand the roles of those professionals and where they fit into the healthcare puzzle. A year later, is that still what you’re seeing as the top challenge?

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JW: I think that’s probably just as true today. That tension is still there.

HCB News: Keeping focus on the IT space, as far as the people who’ve started their career in enterprise IT, would they be a typical SIIM member?
JW: Maybe not in the past, but then as imaging has become more important for enterprise IT to manage, all of a sudden folks in that department are looking for a place to get rapid efficient education on imaging informatics. Now, all of a sudden, they realize just to know how to manage storage, which is important, or servers, or even EHR application workflow, isn’t enough when it comes to managing the technical and workflow issues within a digital imaging department. So they come to SIIM to get the workflow and clinical imaging applications and then they find there are all these advanced topics which are very interesting to them.

HCB News: I’d imagine working more closely with the different departments and out of their silos has to help the IT professionals as well.
JW: I think that’s fairly accurate. And on a tangent, we talk about budget constraints and the cost for members to attend an annual meeting. One of the things we’re really excited about at the society has been the launch of SIIM U in the last year. So now, we’re able to offer education in an online format. We’ve had a successful use of that with our national imaging in informatics curriculum that we do with residents, in concert with the RSNA. While I think a lot of people love coming to the annual meeting for the networking, the reconnecting with friends and colleagues, for people who can’t make it, SIIM U is a great way to get access to education.

Henri Primo


June 24, 2019 02:26


Your magazine is now way beyond where it was 2 years ago. Great coverage on Imaging Informatics.
Henri Primo

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