PACS, IT Systems Varying Integration in Radiology Departments

April 8, 2016

Improvement in some areas is still needed in integrating PACS in academic radiology departments.

Integration between PACS and U.S. academic radiology departments (ARDs) is advancing, but there is still room for improvement in some areas, according to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, OH,  conducted an online cross-sectional survey of members of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments to investigate the state of integration between PACS and other IT systems relevant to radiologists’ routine work across U.S. ARDs. Their goal was to determine if the departments were ready for the ongoing transition to value-based health care.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"47544","attributes":{"alt":"PACS integration","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_4537740424933","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5605","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 120px; width: 180px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©Kamira/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

Thirty-four (26%) of the 132 members responded, representing a broad spectrum of ARDs in regards to location, size aspects, year of PACS introduction, and filmless production. The researchers found that the most notable findings included widespread high-level integration of PACS with dictation systems (more than 90%), low penetration of integration between PACS and critical notification systems (15%), and an overall better integration of PACS and radiology information systems (82%) than of PACS and electronic medical records (47%).

These results showed that some aspects of integration are going well, such as supporting radiologists’ personal productivity, but other aspects, such as integration between PACS and critical notification systems are low and need improvement.