Cloud PACS: Happier Patients, Happier Doctors?
Gaining Efficiencies With Cloud PACS
The field of radiology is constantly evolving. For example, CD burning technology helped to phase out the old method of sharing images, which was primarily through film studies that were mailed from one facility to another or carried from one department to another. Cloud PACS and vendor neutral archiving (VNA) technology have helped alter the way healthcare professionals view medical images today.
Ohio State University Medical Center is an example of how cloud PACS can assist in breaking down silos and reduce the number of CDs that providers have to manage. OHSU uploads roughly 12,000 exams per month, about 8,500 of which are CD uploads. Administrators in radiology wanted to move away from the CDs in part because they were difficult to manage and because the technology is antiquated – fewer and fewer computer manufacturers are building equipment with CD drives.
Another issue associated with CD technology is that the patients are often tasked with bringing their CD images in with them when they see a physician or specialist, and the CDs are sometimes lost or broken. In some cases, the technology used to burn the CDs malfunctions and the patient brings with them a faulty CD. Moving away from a burdened technology is a priority for many facilities.
Transferring images electronically is the natural progression given the preponderance of solutions that are cloud based. For OHSU, the process of going digital with a cloud PACS took several months, but they were able to connect 60 plus facilities to the technology. They were able to receive images electronically and give access to them with whoever was in need of the images.
So, are doctors happier with this cloud PACS technology? Yes, and the reason is that they can now gain access to images that are outside of their department and even outside of their facility. Using VNA in the mix means there are no proprietary issues involved; everyone who has authority to access the image can do so regardless of the viewer they’re using.
And what about the patients, are they happier, too? Of course they are. Not only do they get out of the responsibility for transporting their own images and possibly lose the CD or have it damaged or stolen, they can have their images sent ahead to their doctors long before they go in for their examination. Furthermore, cloud PACS are helping to reduce the amount of radiation patients are exposed to as a result of lost images. For instance, if a CD is improperly managed, the image disappears, necessitating another radiology exam. That doesn’t happen with cloud-based technology.
The best vendors are utilizing the cloud to connect hospitals and clinics with the images they need to offer better patient care. Patients and doctors alike are better connected, more productive, and gain a faster diagnosis. OffSite Image Management, Inc. is an industry leader, offering cloud-based solutions that are helping to change the way medicine is
Originally posted 2016-07-12 12:00:11.