It has been nearly two years since the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics Europe and the European Society of Radiology launched their Digital Imaging Adoption Model to help organizations plan and implement the use of imaging IT, with more than 50 organizations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East participating so far.

DIAM uses a survey to gather information on their organization’s current imaging IT environment, and it then provides a structured approach for assessing that infrastructure. But now some are beginning to wonder why the approach isn’t available in the U.S.

The answer is that it is likely to be available for use domestically in the near future.

Jörg Studzinski, director of research and advisory services for HIMSS Europe, says HIMSS made the model available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East first where most of ESR’s members are located, but HIMSS has always had the intention to make it available in the U.S., as well. It has already been tested at the Mayo Clinic and Duke University Medical Center.

“DIAM certainly is a globally applicable model; this was one of our key objectives when it was developed,” Studzinski says. “It is because of the way it was introduced to the market that North America had been a bit out of scope for initial promotion. Even though HIMSS doesn’t very actively push the DIAM in the U.S at the moment, it is available and ready for use by any U.S.-based care delivery organization.”

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When the model was introduced in 2016, the main intention was to provide a model or framework that can, in theory, speak for all types of medical imaging, but in reality, it will be applied to assess and benchmark the digital maturity of radiology services, Studzinski says.

HIMSS plans to extend the DIAM to the enterprise level and provide an additional assessment for enterprise imaging capabilities, which will include non-radiology, non-DICOM and non-order-based imaging. To accomplish this, HIMSS is working together with ESR, the Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine, the European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics and other subject matter experts from the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“It is our intention to launch the DIAM for Enterprise Imaging by the end of 2018, making it available in the U.S at that time,” Studzinkski says. “With this model we will target the enterprise information services and management level, instead of the departmental or service-specific directors. The radiology-focused DIAM will remain available in co-existence and continue to provide granular strategic guidance and benchmarking options for radiology services.”

Studzinski says using a maturity model like the DIAM provides many benefits. “The model and assessment results provide guidance for strategic planning, because they reveal critical gaps and list clear objectives for needed workflow changes or investments,” he says. “The assessment can also be used as a systematic inventory of existing (or missing) workflows and technologies. This can be very useful for those organizations that run or own more than one imaging center because it enables them to easily compare levels of digital maturity. Benchmarking with external organizations can also help to better understand their own gaps and develop strategies for improvement.”

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