The Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) is a set of hardware and software used in the presentation, retrieval, storage, distribution, and managementof images. PACS is used for the transmission of electronic images and reports. The format used for PACs include DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine). Other formats, such as PDF, can also be included in PACS.
The implementation of a PACS`is a great way to increase the efficiency of any clinic of medical institute. This system can run on personal computers as well as other hospital networks. With the cost of PACS becoming affordable, it is within the reach of many small hospital and medical offices.
The storage of medical images also becomes very convenient with a PAC system. You no longer have to take prints and store the paper formats in large store rooms. Radiology PACS allows digital images to be stored in a convenient format in a central system that can be retrieved easily with a single click of the mouse.
Radiology PACS also allows you to stay in accordance with the guidelines of HIPAA. The archived data can be stored on DVDs or CDs, and the space for storage is no longer an issue. With the advent of tele-radiology, the digital images can be shared with other hospitals and geographical location on the internet.
The ease of use and availability makes it possible to consult other specialists in a timely manner. It is thus a more cost-effective way to improving the level of care offered to patients.
There are four components of PACS – imaging data, transmitting information, interpreting images, and storing them. There are many new emerging technologies that ensure timely and efficient delivery of reports and images to health providers.
A few of the new PACS productsto watch outforare as follows:
1.Ortho-PACS by Viztek, which provide flexibilityofmoving old images and patient data from the old system to the new storage system for a complete digital workflow. This product is especially designed to access and store orthopedic data and is flexible enough to be customized by each physician.
2.Allscripts EHR solution automates daily clinical tasks, such as storing data, including digital records, prescribing medicines, and integrating it with other reports from labs, pharmacists, and insurance companies.
3.INFINITT Enterprise PACS offers a cost-effective solution that includes a migration gateway to transfer the archived data from the older system, perform error correction, and verify it before storage.
4.JiveX Diagnostic workstation mammo by Matrox graphics focuses on providing a fast image reading facility, especially used during mammography. This high-resolution digital image reduces the time spent on analyzing the reports, hence resulting in improved work flow efficiency.
5.iSOFT PACS software allows integration of theexisting software with the Hospital Information systems and Radiology Information network. This product is available as a standalone product or can be obtained as part of an existing system. It is cost-effective and upgradable and can be used at multiple sites.