IT & Radiology Work Hand in Hand


IT and radiology work hand in handIT and radiology are different departments, but these two disciplines and the technologies associated with them collide in the modern world of health care. The relationship between IT and radiology – both at the human and technology level – can be delicate. When IT and radiology are working together with well-calibrated RIS PACS software, infrastructure and equipment, the results can be astoundingly beneficial, for both patients and their care providers.

Radiologists have come to rely on the machines and systems that store and transport patient images and data.  Secure, rapid access of clinical images must be available throughout the healthcare enterprise, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means radiologists rely on information technology staff to upgrade, troubleshoot and maintain PACS and other RIS systems.

Radiologists don’t exactly have control over what IT does, however. And between the different specialties, there can be a language barrier, with IT techs knowing more of the technical side, and doctors knowing more about the medical aspects of how they expect the technology to work. It is important for people in both departments to understand their respective relationships and responsibilities as they relate to the digital enterprise in order to enhance their interactions.

One way to enhance communication and cooperation is for techs and radiologists alike to spend time with each other reviewing the PACS/RIS systems. Radiologists may invite an RIS administrator to spend an hour or two watching how they work. Allow the RIS administrator to see how care is delivered via the tools he or she helps to maintain.

The IT staff, in kind, might spend an hour or two displaying some of their knowledge and the system’s capabilities. For example, a PACS administrator could possibly demonstrate some of his or her maintenance duties, system reports or even minor fixes. Together, radiologists and IT administrators can not only establish standards regarding hardware, software and security for PACS and RIS solutions, but cultivate a solid relationship that benefits the workflow of both departments.

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