3 Key Takeaways of Upgrading to the Next-Gen PACS


PACS Software Helps Improves Competitive AdvantageInvesting in your success means staying current on the latest technology. Not only is it enough to select the right PACS (radiology software) solution, but it is equally important to stay current on the technology and capabilities offered. By charting a path for regular (routine) upgrades, you’ll benefit from some key improvements.

Here are three ways upgrading to the next-gen radiology system can help you:

1. Standards-based interoperability helps radiologists work together across sites and perform interpretations.

Next-gen radiology systems help improve flexibility for both healthcare organizations and practitioners. When studies can be viewed remotely, radiology imaging leaders can leverage the expertise of subspecialists who are working at a different clinic location. PACS that are based on and support a standards-based environment enable a standardization of clinical practices and the ability to connect to support a right-time, right-image strategy. Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging Center, which has six imaging centers in the Las Vegas area, enjoyed increased flexibility after its upgrade.

“The system is incredibly nimble, and it allows our radiologists the flexibility to read a study from anywhere,” said Dane’lle Southern, CIO. “Our radiologists love this kind of freedom and ability to consult with one another so easily. Our PACS enables our entire practice to run more efficiently.”

2. Scalable solutions and zero downtime upgrades that support consolidation and growth.

The latest PACS can be easier and less disruptive to install, benefiting both the clinical user and the administration. Physical data storage has limitations. Upgrading to next-gen solutions allows you to obtain more storage as well as access new features and solution enhancements. UnityPoint Health in West Des Moines, Iowa, saw this benefit after an upgrade.

“We can grow, be flexible and then continue to expand without the constraints of a physical environment,” said Todd Holling, assistant director of clinical legacy and business systems. “If you exceed your capacity virtualization… you can add additional virtual servers literally within hours.”

3. Digital mammography solutions that eliminate the need for a dedicated specialty workstation.

Today’s PACS can support a natively embedded breast imaging workflow for full field digital mammography and digital breast tomosynthesis on a single platform. This allows providers to help increase efficiency and eliminates the need for a specialty workstation.

“Most of us felt that it was hard at times to use [a dedicated mammography workstation] separate from our regular PACS, where we would have ultrasound, MRI and other information that would be pertinent to interpreting a mammogram,” says Margaret Taha, MD, an experienced radiologist with Radiology Regional. “As radiologists, we were happy to have everything in one location.”

Upgrading your radiology solution may also produce long-term organizational and financial benefits for healthcare leaders. By upgrading now, these leaders can focus their organizations for greater success in the future.

“Think really hard about where you want to be as an organization not just today, but two, three, four and five years from now,” said Holling. “The investment you may make today will have repercussions years in the future.”

As you consider upgrading your health system’s PACS and healthcare IT, think of it as an investment in your organization. Upgrading to the latest technology can help improve scalability, improve workflow orchestration and position your organization for future growth.

For more information about next-gen radiology, download Diagnostic Imaging Trends You Must Watch Closely, visit our web site, or register for a meeting or demo in Chicago on November 29 – December 4 at RSNA, McKesson booth #1135, south hall.

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