PACS Administrator Scott Griffin on the Secrets to a Successful PACS Implementation

2010-03-09
 

What does it take to ensure a successful Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) implementation?

No more than:

  • Proper staff training
  • The right PACS solution
  • Thorough assessment of user requirements
  • Accurate budgeting in terms of costs and time

And of course, an experienced, knowledgeable PACS administrator.

Scott Griffin, PACS Administrator

PACS Administrator Scott Griffin’s previous experience with several large-scale implementations helped Southeast Alabama Medical Center seamlessly install a PACS. The implementation was so successful, the hospital was able to go 90% filmless in less than six months.

We sat down with Griffin to learn what it takes to successfully complete a PACS implementation, as well as what it takes to be an effective PACS administrator.

How did you get into the field of radiology and imaging, specifically as a PACS administrator?
When PACS was first introduced to me, I thought it would be the best use of my skills in that I have always been fascinated by computer technology.  Also being interested in radiology management, I knew knowledge of the systems that would ultimately one day be the life blood of the department would be a great tool to have on my side.

What makes a good PACS administrator?
Some of the important qualities are:

  • The ability to think on your feet
  • Not always knowing the answer ahead of time is ok
  • The ability to work well with physicians and hospital personnel
  • Always looking for ways to improve things

To what do you attribute getting the PACS at Southeast Alabama Medical Center up-and-running so quickly and smoothly?
I attribute that to having a great install team, knowledgeable and supportive IT staff with superior infrastructure, and a supportive medical staff. And a little experience never hurts either.

SAMC was my third install at a large hospital (over 400 beds) so a lot of the anxiety that I felt at previous installs was replaced with a running mental checklist of what needed to get done, along with, “What have I missed?”

What tips would you give to a hospital that hasn’t yet implemented a PACS?
Look at everything!  Many hospitals fail to remember all the locations where they view images. In many cases, they forget to budget for necessary upgrades/replacement of computers throughout the organization.  This may include complete replacement of key computers, as well as upgrades to memory and monitors throughout the facility. Planning and budgeting for this ahead of time makes a huge difference for all involved.

What advice would you give a hospital at the early stages of PACS consideration?
Run the ROI and talk with other facilities that have grown volume with no additional Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs).

Learn more about the PACS implementation at Southeast Alabama Medical Center by downloading the case study.

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