While PACS (picture archiving and communication system) continues to gain prominence, numerous concerns piggyback the technology’s benefits. By choosing cloud-based or hybrid PACS software, you keep many of the concerns at bay; still few risks, vulnerabilities and threats can’t be overlooked. Considering the increasing number of cases in which the mishandling of the technology led to serious security breaches and legal disputes, let’s focus on how to address the most critical of these concerns.
Before you invest in PACS, make sure you document your exact specifications through careful site inspection. It is a no-brainer that a small private clinic would have different requirements than a big hospital. Evaluate how many workstations need to be linked, dedicated or overlapping PACS for different services like radiology, cardiology etc., required storage capacity and so on. Order PACS based on well-documented requirements to reap the benefits. In addition, accept PACS only after conducting a detailed test analysis to certain that it meets the requirements. Follow it with regular audits and analysis to confirm its performance and maintain all these records.
In order to prevent unauthorized access and security threats, deployment of PACS system should be made fool-proof through measures like:
Authorizing people to access the system and granting them with unique Ids and passwords.
Setting up not just external but internal firewalls too to ensure complete defense mechanism.
Workstations and computer-operated equipments that would be connected to PACS must be checked against viruses, malwares and other infections.
Use network monitoring tools, virus scanners and every other component that spells security.
Unattended Cloud Threats
Cloud-based PACS promise great amount of flexibility to access data from any device. However, you need to be careful in this regard by:
Not downloading any file to the device, but viewing it in the browser
Not saving Ids and passwords to any browser or portal. In fact, the auto-logout option should be active
Protecting your devices and hard disks with passwords and encryption layers
Accessing the Internet on a secure network only
Your patients trust your decision to use a PACS system for medical care improvement. Don’t just flow in the excitement of adopting the technology, rather do it responsibly to make the most of it. Work with a reputed vendor like sepStream™ which has an experience of more than 15 years in offering EMR/RIS/PACS solutions.