The Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) have entirely changed the scenario for healthcare organizations. It is an invaluable tool that allows physicians to quickly and easily share medical imaging reports electronically and has become the standard system at medical facilities and hospitals. The advancement of technology has enhanced the quality of life, and it has also helped in the development of tools like PACS medical imaging and PACS software.
Healthcare organizations now consider this system an essential piece of equipment because it offers numerous benefits. Innovation and technology play a significant role in today’s healthcare system as it is crucial for sustaining health. It has significantly enhanced the quality of medical care offered to patients, and PACS software in health facilities and hospitals is one example of technology improving medical care. PACS has changed the way radiology works and is considered one of the essential requirements in hospitals. Mini-PACS make sharing instant medical imaging and reporting them remotely quick and easy, thanks to this invaluable software.
What is PACS – Picture Archiving and Communication System?
It is a medical technology that offers economical presentation retrieval, distribution, storage, and management of medical images. Transmission of reports or images takes place digitally via PACS. Thus, manual filing and distribution are no longer required. It allows viewing and storing of all types of medical imaging by healthcare facilities internally and externally. A radiology PACS is deployed with RIS. A RIS is used to schedule appointments and record patient history, whereas PACS software focuses on image retrieval and storage. The following are four major components of PACS.
- The Imaging Modalities
- Transmission of information through a secure network
- Reviewing and interpreting images through a work-station
- Storage archives for retrieval of patient reports and medical images.
It means that with PACS medical imaging, health care facilities become digital by removing the need for physical files. However, the combination of radiology PACS in healthcare facilities goes beyond that. If used properly, it can provide significant benefits in management performance, clinical diagnosis, and safety.
How Does PACS Imaging Work?
After being captured by the imaging technologies such as X-ray, CT scan, or PET scan, the digital images are transmitted electronically via the PACS system. It allows healthcare professionals, physicians, and organizations to access and share them internally and externally. Think of it as you might think about other cloud-based solutions, such as Google Drive, iCloud, or dropbox. PACS in radiology provides a digital storage solution that allows remote access to reports and images.
It is possible because of Digital Imaging and Communications in medicine (DICOM), the universal format for PACS medical imaging data transfer and storage. DICOM allows RIS (Radiology Information Systems) and other medical imaging systems to connect with and transfer data to systems at other healthcare organizations, allowing image distribution and retrieval to be more efficient to view and report. PACS software allows easy and quick recovery of medical images and other data, overcoming the time and physical barriers associated with traditional image retrieval, display, and distribution.
How to use PACS?
If you are a surgeon working with PACS can increase your workflow dramatically. For example, combined with orthopedic surgery, it makes planning surgeries much more effective because healthcare professionals can access patients’ radiology data and history. Using PeekMed, which can integrate with all PACS software, the surgeon can quickly import required medical images. It allows for instant and integrated access to all the data. After accessing the information, the surgeon can proceed with direct importation and start planning. Thus, we can say that the surgeon can access all the advantages of orthopedic digital templating.
The digital storage also allows surgeons and radiologists to access previous reports and compare them to recent ones. It eliminates the need for patients to bring previous reports. In other words, we can say that the physicians have a holistic view of the case. And it impacts the use of medical reports as these are being stored digitally. It allows every specialist to access and comment on them, filling communication gaps between teams and benefiting end users. Following are the advantages of Mini-PACS:
Benefits of PACS software:
PACS improves efficiency in electronic data handling workflow. It offers a space and cost advantage by decreasing the price of digital storage. The benefits provided by Mini-PACS are many. But following are listed a few of the most significant ones:
The affective analysis and viewing are possible as PACS’ digital images enable you to zoom in and use the medical images for more elaborate analyzes. A conventional film can only exist in one place at one time; PACS system enables multi-location viewing of images. It allows collaboration among surgeons and radiologists as it enables them to take each others’ opinions by viewing the medical images and reports simultaneously and discussing them under the peer review module. The interpretive skills of the radiologist prove beneficial for the patients also. The high-quality medical images provide more accurate diagnoses to physicians.
As discussed earlier, PACS medical imaging enables easy and instant access to reports and images. No matter where the tests are performed, reporting can be done remotely, and results can be shared, even if it is an isolated facility. PACS allows archiving images, submitting reports, and transferring them through portable media anywhere in the world. Physicians at different physical locations can access the same information simultaneously. In addition to this, quick access to the previous images is also possible. The radiology history of patients is available, which allows comparison with prior reports.
PACS is very user-friendly software because several customization options are available for easy use of the software. PACS is a great integration platform for other systems, such as Electronic Medical records, Hospital Information systems, and Radiology Information systems.
Additionally, the PACS system provides a seamless and efficient review of radiology cases within a physician’s daily workflow because it makes it easier to organize and store imaging data with an accessible and centralized system. Data management has become more efficient as the number of duplicate images can be reduced as previous images and reports are available with the system.