Winter = Time for a PACS


PACS, healthcare reform, supreme court Winter: the season of Christmas, snow-covered trees, sledding…and increased emergency room admissions due to slips and falls on ice and snow. Add to that car accidents and shoveling-related back injuries and the medical imaging professionals are going to have their hands full.

After one snowstorm in early 2011, for example, the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s radiology department performed 156 injury-related x-rays over two days, which was more than double their normal x-ray rate.

When temperatures fell into the 20’s after a few days of 35-degree highs, the resulting ice led to a swarm of accident victims flocking to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Mass.

In January 2011, during a two-week stretch that saw several fluctuations between slightly-above-freezing to slightly-below-freezing temperatures, the emergency room at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago saw double the number of patients it normally sees.

This could mean an increase in radiology for medical imaging professionals.  And for radiology facilities that don’t have a PACS, it means that it’s time to think seriously about getting one.

Why? A PACS provides several benefits to a radiology department and, in fact, to an entire medical center:

  • Reduced need for film in diagnostic imaging, saving on the cost of film, time needed to develop film, and the space needed to house film. A PACS also eliminates the need for duplicate images.


  • Quick and easy access to patient images and reports. This means better, faster care in radiology and throughout a medical facility. For physicians, a PACS means easy access to a patient’s radiology history.


  • Share-ability. An image can be sent electronically to other medical facilities with a few clicks of a mouse.

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