PACS and HIE: Rumors and Truths
What’s in Store for PACS in the Future?
The technology surrounding medical images continues to evolve, which means the conversation about the future of PACS gets deeper and wider every year. It’s difficult to separate the rumors from the truth and get a clear picture of where we’re headed in healthcare IT.
There is an analogy being used now in relation to PACS, and it weighs heavily around death, autopsy and funerals. It’s not the brightest of topics, but some believe calling the time of death for the modern day PACS is premature. The rumor mill about the death of PACS really has no basis in what’s actually happening in the industry. In fact, some believe that instead of putting a stethoscope to the heart of PACS, they should be taking the good with the bad and utilizing their current PACS with newer technologies to offer better patient care.
One of the newer technologies to get a lot of attention is vendor neutral archiving (VNA). While the PACS will remain the foundation of an imaging strategy, VNA is brought in to function where the traditional PACS can’t. One of the issues regarding VNA is in the migration of data to it. The process can be time-consuming, run into a multitude of bugs and roadblocks, and it can be costly – perhaps too costly for the rural provider with limited funds. However, there are options out there that bring a quality product to providers at costs that are reasonable.
The goal for many healthcare providers is to eliminate the silos associated with data. For instance, it’s fairly commonplace for each clinical system to operate under its own repository. VNA works to tear down those silos and provide more functionality across platforms. Currently, radiology and cardiology are the biggest allies to VNA technology. Unfortunately, the EMR and EHR side of the industry has yet to fully embrace the potential that bringing VNA into a platform can achieve. This is a trend that will likely change in the near future.
Mergers and acquisitions take place quite frequently in the healthcare industry today. This is pushing the PACS issue ahead in the conversation because interoperability is of utmost importance to a successful merger/acquisition. The proprietary system in use in one facility, which might actually work quite well there, will be of no use to a merging provider with a system from a different vendor. The clash deserves a resolution and for many providers, choosing an offsite, vendor neutral archiving service is the answer.
In a perfect scenario, a medical professional across town would take a patient referral and get all the data they need to work with that patient, and this should include medical imaging. An offsite archiving provider can pull all that information into the open, regardless of the viewer they’re using.
OffSite Image Management, Inc. is a company leading the way in VNA technology. Our solutions involve multiple disaster recovery protocols, archiving and sharing capabilities that take the roadblocks out of the equation, and a more efficient and effective way to work with patient data. Contact us today and find out how we can streamline your process.
Originally posted 2015-10-16 10:00:48.