Choosing a PACS


Every radiology practice and hospital eventually ends up with a PACS that is out of date or no longer meets the requirements of their patients. Replacing your current system probably feels like a daunting task. Despite this, once you become concerned about updates and new software, it is generally less expensive to simply purchase a new PACS. Finding the right system is a challenge. It must be faster, flexible, affordable and have improved mobile connectivity. Taking a test drive of the PACS by requesting a thirty day demo is highly recommended.


Replacing your PACS 

The odds are good your PACS will be out of date before you invest in a new model. The lifespan of the average system is approximately seven to ten years. The regulatory requirements and changes will begin to impact the efficiency of your PACS almost immediately. Your price is dependent on your specific requirements and whether you choose a system based in the cloud or in-house. You expenditure will include installments, upgrades, the needs of the staff and training in addition to your purchase price. 

It is a good idea to get rid of the lowest and highest quotes you have received. Spend a little time reviewing the companies and products providing you with the middle quotes to understand what makes them different. Look at the numerous products and make certain there is a technical staff willing to provide assistance from start to finish. It is also important to understand it can require as long as ninety days to transition your information. The issue is, if you hesitate you are taking a risk. The financial health of your organization can be impacted due to an operating system that is out of date. 

It will be more difficult to keep up with the constantly changing requirements of your referring doctors, patients and affiliated organizations if your PACS is out of date. You need to be aware of the red flags in numerous areas when analyzing your current vendor and PACS. This includes clinical, administrative, the market and IT or information technology. Your PACS must not impact your competitiveness, must offer usable analytic, support your billing, meet the meaningful use requirements and reporting needs. 

If your current system does not fulfill all of these needs, you need to consider replacing your PACS system. This is especially true if your current system cannot be customized, does not offer workflow tools to optimize productivity or has a confusing interface. Your PACS should meet the emerging standardization and current security protocols. If your current vendor does not share the details regarding their PACS product offerings or does not offer a state-of-the-art system, it may be time to consider a PACS vendor offering a smooth integration for a modern operating system. 

Making the Change 

Prior to proceeding with purchasing a new PACS, it is important to identify your unmet needs and priorities. This may be integration or making certain the new technologies and your existing tools are compatible. Your PACS must work with your electronic medical records and remain efficient as time passes. The technology must fit with your organization, increase your productivity and grow with your needs. You must be able to access the date necessary to run your business efficiently. 

One of your options is a PACS system based in the cloud. This type of system offers distribution, storage and image review for both remote and on-site providers. This kind of system also has the potential to decrease your yearly expenditure by as much as thirty percent. 

The Variety of PACS Systems 

There are a lot of PACS vendors offering systems that are up to date. These systems provide a wide variety of options such as keeping multiple files open at the same time, keeping both your patient’s information and reports in a centralized location and providing electronic access. There are even PACS able to integrate the infrastructure of your facility with any existing system. No matter which replacement PACS you choose, it is important to switch over at the right time. Your implementation will most likely be your biggest obstacle. Although it is not possible to completely shut down your facility, it is possible to choose a time when there are less members of your staff on call. 

In order to ensure your physicians can continue to work temporarily on your old system, your timing for getting your new system fully operational must be perfect. Your coordination must encompass your back-up lines, phone lines and make certain you load your software in time. This is critical because you will be bringing all of your files over to the new PACS. You should leave enough time for a few dry runs prior to actually making the switch. Practicing will give you the chance to make certain your new PACS system is compatible with your billing system and electronic health records.