Things you should know about PACS system

If you are a part of radiology or any other medical field, then surely you have heard a lot of things about shop talk or medical lingo that seems like a new language to normal people not related to the medical world. There are two medical jargons that are known to most of physicians and radiologists that are the RIS and PACS systems. Do you know how PACS is related to radiology and how these both jargons can work together benefiting medical practitioners, radiologists, patients, and hospitals?

If you are eager to know then take a look at this article thoroughly, mentioning everything in detail;

What is the PACS system?

PACS is an abbreviation for picture archiving and communication systems. It is simply a medical imaging technology that gives economical management, retrieval, storage, distribution and presentation of medical images. PACS system is used for digitally transmitting electronic images and reports. This puts an end to the need for manually filling, retrieving, or transporting heavy film jackets. This is a great help for health care organization for capturing, storing, viewing, and sharing any kind of images in both external and internal pace.

There is a universal format for PACS image storage and transfer that is DICOM. DICOM is an abbrev9iation for Digital Image and Communication in Medicine. DICOM enables PACS, RIS (Radiology Information System) and such other medical imaging system for connection to passing the data to each system and other healthcare facilities. Most the PACS systems usually handle a great deal of medical imaging instruction like ultrasound, magnetic resonance, positron emission tomography, computed tomography, nuclear medicine imaging, mammograms, endoscopy, digital radiography, histopathology, computed radiography, ophthalmology, and several other. In this, more types of imaging formats gest added anytime needed. Such clinical areas that are beyond radiology like orthopedics, oncology, cardiology, and laboratory are working to make medical images that can easily get incorporated into PACS system.

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                                        source:adsc.com

What are the major components of PACS?

Here are the four major components of PACS;

  • Imaging modalities – This is the imaging system to do the real patient scanning for the production of medical image.
  • Securing network to the database for the uploading and transferring of images.
  • Workstation that enables the radiologist and doctors viewing and studying the images.
  • Storage Archives – This is another important component for securing storage area in which the image and the supporting documents are available to the people enabled to view it.

Combination with any available and emerging web technology, PACS is potential for delivering on time and has enough accessibility to images, interpretation and related data. It cope up with all the physical and time barriers that are connected with traditional film based imaging retrieval, distribution and display.

Why you should combine PACS software with RIS?

There are a lot of benefits of combining this software. In fact, radiologists have a special interest in the usage of PACS software. Here are a few benefits to it;

  • Note how radiology PACS often gets arranged on the other side of the RIS.
  • The RIS is system is something that radiologists make use for noting the radiology history of their patients alongside scheduling appointments. But the main purpose of PACS is to store and retrieve images.
  • Combining PACS software with the RIS enables the hospital radiology department performing better as it allows the images to get potentially stores, retrieved and transferred.

Advantages of the PACS system

Here are the core advantages of PACS system;

  • Replacement of Hard Copy: PACS is the great replacement for hard copy based medical images like film archives. As the price if digital storage is decreasing it provides with a growing cost and space advantage over the film archives alongside giving instant access to the previous images in the same institution. Those digital copies are names as soft copy.
  • Remote Access: It enlarges the possibilities of conventional system by giving the ability of off-site viewing and reporting that includes telediagnosis and distance education. It allows the practitioners in variant locations to access one same information at the same time for teleradiology.
  • Platform for Electronic Image Integration: PACS provides the electronic platform for radiology image interfacing with several other medical automation system like Hospital information system (HIS), radiology information system (RIS), electronic medical record (EMR), practice management software (PMS), etc.
  • Radiology Workflow Management : PACS gets used by the personnel of radiology for the management of their workflow of patient exams. The usage of PACS system is highly beneficial for diagnosis, referring physicians, the patient and the hospital too. These benefits are described in brief below;

  Benefits for diagnosis

  • It gives improved accessibility to past and current records of patients.
  • It has integration to file and speed retrieval features.
  • It allows better diagnosis.

Benefits for a physician referral

  • It enables earlier intervention and better management of patient.
  • It allows better outcome of the patient.
  • It decreases the length of stay.
  • It reduces legal costs because of maladministration of loss of time, lack of patient’s history and such other issues.

Benefits for patients

  • It eliminates the exposure from the radiation of x-ray equipment.
  • The time of examination gets shorter.
  • It reduces radiation exposure as an outcome of less demand for retaking of images.
  • Eliminates the inconvenience for patients for attending the hospital again and again for examinations.
  • It decreases the chance of negative reactions to the contrasting agents.

Benefits for the hospital

  • It helps in having better communication with physicians.
  • It benefits in bettering the administration of hospital.
  • It aids for better radiology training to other students by accessing to on-line image files and for digital teaching files.
  • The retention of staff gets greater because of improvement in morale.
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                            source:themandarin.com

Other beneficial considerations of the PACS system

Here are some other PACS beneficial considerations you should know;

  • PACS system allows you storing standard 2D and 3D images.
  • It allows you reducing the number of same images making the data management speedy and efficient.
  • It shows you the patient’s radiology history in chronological view.
  • PACS allows the surgeons to view the images even before their patients get back to the examination room. Alongside, it aids in improving the quality of patients care it makes the workflow efficient and quick.
  • It gives you remote access that means the healthcare practitioners in faraway areas can have easy access to the same data of tele radiology.
  • It is highly beneficial for hospitals as it improved communication with doctors, boosting the administration in hospital, improves staff retention and such other things.
  • Even if radiologists are the predominate users of PACS, it is now getting incorporated to several other medical fields like pathology, cardiology, oncology, dermatology, nuclear medicine imaging, etc.

What are the best PACS systems?

There are a lot of PACS systems available and this is what makes the decision difficult. You are open to various option from many different vendors. The best of all the PACS system would be the one that suits all your needs that also impacts over your practice size, the budget limitations and current infrastructure.

Following this, it would be great if you get deeper into the options of the PACS system and its vendors for additional information.

Here are a few PACS system that you can consider.

PostDICOM

  • This software offers the viewers for more than 50 GB of storage free of cost. However, after this, the users can expand its storage and get more features by paying for its monthly subscription that is affordable for just $49.99 per month.

Ambra health

  • It provides with PACS for all size practices regardless its large or small healthcare systems, research organizations, radiology practices or medical groups. You can pay per month basis or per year. Also, they offer you the option to try their demo version of services. The individual accounts of sharing and viewing the images are free of cost.

Studycast

  • It is another recommended PACS system that is liable to get integrated to any infrastructure and has super responding customer care. It provides you with free of charge demo version. However, until you do not sign up, it does not let you know about its payment option.

 Quickpacs

This PACS system gives you access to both of the storage system that are stand alone image archiving and DICOM storage alongside RIS and PACS integration. Quickpacs is open to both veterinary and medical centers. Their customer support is available 24/7 and offers you free of charge demo.

Final words

The radiology is the one field that has quite interest in the system of PACS. The radiology PACS gets frequently deployed with a RIS. It is used for scheduling patient’s appointments and recording the radiology history of patients. Whereas, PACS has more focus on image storage and its retrieval. PACS system is not just beneficial for radiologists, but it is highly advantageous for all the hospital administrators and referring physicians.

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