People working in the healthcare industry are not surprised by the terms and acronyms used in the normal day-to-day conversation that is specific to medical lingo. The two most commonly used acronyms used in radiology are PACS and RIS (Radiology information system). Here’s what does PACS stand for in radiology and RIS and how they work together to offer the best benefits to the physicians, radiologists, hospitals, and the patients.
What does PACS stand for in radiology?
PACS stands for picture archiving and communication system, which is a high-speed computer system used for creating graphical radiology images for the recovery, storage and display of X-ray, ultrasound, endoscopy, positron emission tomography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.
Through PACS imaging technology, it is possible to get convenient access to economical storage for images from different modalities. It also replaces conventional films with digital images. In addition, PACS associates the report studies and the imaging studies together so the images and studies both can be viewed simultaneously resolving the conventional filming issues.
PACS also makes it possible to view reports at any time and place which created delays in the treatment where films and reports were only available in one place in the past. With a picture archiving and communication systems, filming is available for a quick review by the physician to any connected device.
Essential Components of PACS
PACS mainly involves four basic components;
- Imaging modalities – The system is used when medical image production is needed while performing actual patient scanning.
- Archives for storage – An essential component where the actual images and supporting documents are stored to view whenever they are needed by the physicians and medical providers only who are allowed to access them.
- Workstation – That enables doctors and radiologists to access and study the images
- Secure database network – Where the images can be stored and reviewed when they are required.
Potential Benefits of using PACS
Radiologists find it convenient and hold a special interest in utilizing the PACS system in their services;
- PACS in radiology is often managed along with RIS (radiology information system).
- RIS is used by radiologists to make patient appointments and save patients’ radiology histories. Although, PACS is used to store radiology films and images.
- When PACS is connected with RIS, radiologists can perform better because when a patient with radiology history visits, retrieving images can be possible with RIS and transferring these images from one place to another becomes simple.
- Because the patient’s data is orderly stored in the PACS software, it is comparatively easy to access the data in less time than to find it under the piles of papers and documents.
- The digital tools help visualize the images more clearly and visual enhancements from the software manipulation technology make it a better experience. For instance, images can be zoomed and rotated to view 3D angles of blood vessels, organs, tissue, and bones. In short, data can be analyzed better.
- Another benefit of using PACS software is the financial angle that refrains the need of printing images. The cloud database makes it possible to view images across digital devices. Apart from saving an amount from printing materials, inks, and maintaining equipment, what’s more important is that you save a hefty amount that you would pay to a staff member or technician for it.
What benefits the patient will have from PACS?
Not only radiologists and physicians but patients also get a range of PACS benefits. They are;
- Less E Due to digitally handled records, patients would have less exposure to radiation.
- Because the software produces high-quality images and a 3D view makes it even more explanatory, patients get more specific and accurate diagnoses which would be impossible without PACS.
- Examination time gets reduced every time as the need for reexamining patients is eliminated.
- It is not likely required to retake images.
- A reduced chance of radiology side effects.
- It is even possible to delete identical images to make the workflow efficient.
- PACS allows radiologists to save 2D, and 3D images and a chronological view of the radiology history of a patient to get the best results possible.
- With PACS, surgeons would have the results/images on their device before a patient would return to the surgeon’s room after a radiology exam which speeds up the process.
- PACS provide access to reports in remote areas, which means that if a surgeon needs patient’s reports at a faraway place, they can still view them to provide teleradiology services for medical support.
- Not only do surgeons, radiologists, and patients benefit from PACS, but hospitals also get positive after-effects of using PACS. Some of them include better communication with doctors and hospital administration. As the hospital’s morale remains high, staff retention improves.
- Radiologists, however, have been the industry’s dominant users of PACS but the software is now incorporated in other medical fields such as oncology, cardiology, dermatology, nuclear medicine, and pathology imaging.
Other than radiologists and some medical healthcare fields, all healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, diagnosticians, and insurance-approved doctors should know the benefits of PACS and take steps to integrate this software into their facilities. Considering the benefits it poses not only to the patients and surgeons but to hospitals, they can offer a range of benefits to almost every healthcare facility.
With the help of PACS, the images and radiology histories of patients can be stored on a short and long-term basis. In addition, the radiology PACS system allows for retrieving, distributing, and maintaining medical images to minimize the delay in the treatment.