Feeling Trapped by PACS?
If you are feeling pressure to replace your picture archiving communication system (PACS), you’re in the same boat as healthcare facilities across the nation. Many are looking to stay compliant with Meaningful Use requirements and prepare for the changing environment Stage 2 will bring.
It’s important to plan wisely as you look to change your PACS architecture for years of use in the future. You might have to change your vendor as you change your PACS, which could affect your choices when it comes to your redesign. To make sure you’re covering all your bases, try revisiting your information system architecture, your workflow and the perks with going to a vendor neutral archiving system (VNA).
You don’t want to suffer through multiple data migrations, which is why you would do well to go with a vendor different from your PACS vendor for archiving purposes. In fact, you should disconnect the PACS database from its archive and find a VNA vendor who offers true VNA, not a homogenized version of it. As you get down to a list of finalists, make sure your vendors on that list give you the option to delete images you want off your archive because some vendors only set a deletion flag on the image and nothing is erased. You want the freedom to get rid of images that are no longer legally required to remain in your archives.
If you have multiple PACS from various departments throughout your organization, the VNA advantage becomes easy to see. A true VNA will help you manage all the data and the different image formats you’ll experience across departments.
Healthcare facilities that continue to use CD burning technology have issues with importing images into the system. Your best bet is to phase out your CD burning protocol. Some of your images burned to CD don’t have the type of resolution that is of any use to physicians, which is another reason to step away from the antiquated process. Instead, go with a file-sharing or cloud service vendor that can utilize the power of a health image exchange. This means you will never run the risk of misplacing CDs or having them stolen.
It makes perfect sense to outsource your storage, especially for your medical images that can take up gigabytes of space on your server. Furthermore, outsourcing the storage also ensures that your images will always be available to you. Power outages in your area will mean nothing to your data that is stored offsite at a secure cloud-based provider.
As for security in the cloud, pick a vendor that uses Level IV datacenters where the uptime is nearly 100 percent and security is second to none. These businesses rely on their ability to offer super-secure services because failing to deliver on that promise would jeopardize their ability to stay afloat in the industry.
At Offsite Image Management, Inc., we have developed solutions that will not make you feel trapped by your PACS. Our cloud-based services put you in a better position to please patients, doctors, technicians and anyone else who works with medical imaging. Contact us today and find out how we can improve your position.