Marketing makes all the difference in PACS implementation

September 23, 2004

Got PACS? Radiologists at the Boca Raton Community Hospital are finding that a catchy slogan and clever marketing campaign may play just as important a role as technology in a successful PACS implementation.

Got PACS? Radiologists at the Boca Raton Community Hospital are finding that a catchy slogan and clever marketing campaign may play just as important a role as technology in a successful PACS implementation.

Selling the move to digital imaging to clinicians is an important aspect of PACS implementation, and it can be a lot more fun, as is evident from the hospital's experience.

"Beyond deciding to invest in PACS, selecting your PACS committee, choosing your vendor, receiving final approvals from your administration, and doing the actual installation lies another necessary component: marketing," said Mark A. Viau, director of imaging services at the hospital.

Posters, brochures, t-shirts, and promotional items were distributed in a coordinated effort to target hospital staff and referring physicians. The marketing blitz began as soon as the board granted PACS approval.

Before introducing clinicians to PACS, Viau developed a brochure that would answer the most frequently asked questions pertaining to PACS and guide readers to the proper contacts in the event of difficulties.

"We probably spent as much time with the details of the brochure as we did narrowing our PACS vendor candidates from four to two, but it was time well spent," Viau said.

"Get Ready for PACS" posters appeared near the physician entrance to the hospital. The poster was reproduced on flyers and included with every film release to clinicians.

Inside the physician entrance, other posters directed physicians to the new digital radiology reading room.

The marketing committee, composed of front-line supervisors and senior and middle managers, ordered t-shirts with "Got PACS" on the front and "Ask Me About Digital Imaging at BRCH" on the back for PACS-proficient radiologists and staff. The shirts became so popular that they had to distribute most of them to the medical staff.

The committee also developed PACS mousepads with an x-ray of a hand moving a mouse. The pads included the help desk phone number and were distributed to every computer and PACS workstation throughout the hospital.

A promotional giveaway proved to be especially popular. Any member of the medical staff who came to the physicians lounge and participated in a PACS demonstration was given a chance to win a motorcycle in a special drawing. Never mind that the bike was an 18-inch, remote-controlled plastic toy.

"Some doctors wanted to attend the training each of the four-day sessions to increase their chances of winning," Viau said.

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