PACS leads to increased radiologist specialization

May 1, 2007

PACS is responsible for the trend toward increased radiologist specialization, according to a study from Sweden.

PACS is responsible for the trend toward increased radiologist specialization, according to a study from Sweden.

The positive effect of PACS on radiology workflow has been well documented, but this paper (J Digit Imaging 2006 Dec 27; [Epub ahead of print]) is among the first to look at the impact of PACS on radiology work practice.

"This study is unique in both timing and scope," said Dr. Kent Fridell, of the clinical science, intervention, and technology department at the Karolinska Institutet in Huddinge. "The consequences to radiologists of introducing distributed radiology have shown that when analog films are replaced with digital images viewed on a computer, radiologists' diagnostic practice also changes."

In the study, work practice is defined as professional role, diagnostic practice, and technology in use.

Fridell found that after PACS is introduced radiologists tend to migrate from a position of individual professional expertise to that of an actor in a network and that as the flow of images takes new routes, new relationships are created between actors in the network.