PACS Implementation Plan: A Little Marketing Goes A Long Way


When the Boca Raton Community Hospital (BRCH) decided to implement a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS), the implementation team knew that getting the technology right was just one critical step to success. The team recognized that its PACS implementation plan must also include gaining the buy-in of all staff members.

So the team devised a healthcare marketing strategy to educate and engage both its radiology department and other hospital staff. As part of that strategy, the team created a video with an entertaining before-and-after look at the new PACS.

The hospital’s previous use of hard-copy x-ray film—the “before”—was marked with limitations, inefficiencies and redundant steps. The workflow before the PACS consisted of no less than 11 steps:

1. X-rays were taken in the radiology department.

2. The technician was forced to wait for 90 seconds while the X-rays were developed.

3. For quality assurance, x-rays were manually checked, and overexposed views had to be reshot. For those views, the entire process repeated itself.

4. Next, the technician generated and printed out multiple reports and paperwork.

5. Films were then manually delivered to the ER.

6. Next, file room personnel would manually retrieve films from ER and transport them to the file room, which housed thousands of paper files.

7. Personnel had to find the master jacket among seemingly endless rows of files.

8. Files had to be matched manually.

9. Unread films would then wait to be hung on rollerboards.

10. Finally, films were hung on rollerboards in the reading room for viewing.

11. Lastly, the radiologist would arrive to dictate the film.

The PACS has led to a new era of efficiency and productivity for the imaging department. Those benefits, combined with the hospital’s successful internal marketing, are responsible for improved physician and staff satisfaction. The new process takes just 4 steps:

1. The technician takes the digital image.

2. 60 seconds later, the technician adjusts the exposure at a workstation.

3. Images are sent to digital archive.

4. Images are then immediately available to hospital radiologists, referring physicians and anyone, anywhere in the BRCH.

View the video to watch these steps unfold and see the PACS in action.


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