PACS in your pocket R
The age of the mobile, integrated PACS platform is here. By Elad Benjamin
adiology work fl ow has experienced dramatic change in the last few years. Until recently, most radiologists were physically present at hospitals or reading centers when reading exams. Radiolo- gists who read remotely would only have access to a small subset of the clinical tools they needed. But work-fl ow needs are changing. The modern ra- diology work fl ow is much more geographically diverse. Individual radiologists, groups and sub-specialty physicians provide services to multiple hospitals, leading to the de- mand for comprehensive, fully featured solutions that are completely mobile. Radiologists today need access to all their reading tools and functionality from any computer, anywhere. Their preferences, hanging protocols, clinical and reporting tools need to follow them wherever they go. In addition, the PACS needs to be fully interoperable with RIS and other systems that provide patient data, voice dictation, access to reports and other functions.
ultimately benefi ts patients through prompt treatment and enhanced collaboration among radiologists, specialists and referring physicians.
Here are the key characteristics of a truly mobile and enterprise-wide PACS solution: Advanced functionality should be standard and avail- able anywhere. Whether at home, in the offi ce or from any remote computer, radiologists need access to a full set of clinical tools through a single, common user interface. Most remote solutions don’t provide access to advanced post-processing and reporting tools. A mobile PACS should include the ability to automatically compare and register current and prior exams and support post-processing tools such as cardiac CT analysis, PET/CT, coronary analysis and vessel segmentation. Intelligent streaming technology allows productive, interactive reading of large data sets even over slower bandwidth connections. A mobile PACS should also support native reporting and voice-recognition features or tight integration with existing systems to elimi- nate the need for radiologists to switch between systems or manually dictate results. Easy methods for sharing key fi ndings, embedding key images and creating and sharing reports should be available as well. With a mobile PACS, all of these capabilities need to be geographically indepen- dent of any hospital or imaging center and available to any authorized radiologist, regardless of location. Support for a multi-site work fl ow is a necessity. Hos- pitals are affi liating with each other and with medical imaging centers, clinics and other facilities to share patient medical images and information. As a result, radiologists are now reading for multiple medical imaging providers, and specialists are reading for entire healthcare systems. Modern PACS platforms should deliver an enterprise- wide reading work fl ow that eliminates geographic and vendor-specifi c system limitations.
The advantages of a mobile PACS go far beyond im- proved productivity for radiologists. Healthcare providers gain expedited reading and reporting of imaging exams. Some PACS enable a global patient work list that allows effi cient reading for multiple sites throughout an enter- prise. Studies can be quickly and easily routed to special- ists. Referring physicians gain rapid access to reports with embedded key images and can view entire imaging studies if desired (and authorized). This streamlined work fl ow
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This environment requires a global patient work list for multiple, disparate systems. All forms of patient data required for accurate diagnosis should be readily available, regardless of where that data is stored. A multi-site global work list enables healthcare providers to balance reading and reporting among available radiologists throughout the enterprise. This eliminates the barriers caused by disparate physical locations of images and users, as well as variations in network speed and reliability. Use of an enterprise- wide global work list delivers substantive improvements
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