PACS sidesteps annoying hospital busy signals

September 22, 2005

Telephone calls from referring physicians to radiology administrative services decreased nearly 80% after implementation of PACS and enterprise image distribution at the University Hospital Ghent in Belgium. While the impact on radiology telephone traffic was significant, the decrease was not consistent throughout the department. Investigators reported a 40% reduction in calls to radiologists.

Telephone calls from referring physicians to radiology administrative services decreased nearly 80% after implementation of PACS and enterprise image distribution at the University Hospital Ghent in Belgium. While the impact on radiology telephone traffic was significant, the decrease was not consistent throughout the department. Investigators reported a 40% reduction in calls to radiologists.

The diminishing number of calls to administrative services can be explained by the instant availability of images throughout the enterprise, according to the authors of a study presented at the 2005 Society for Computer Applications in Radiology meeting. Clinicians call less often to ask about the whereabouts of images or reports. The decline in calls to radiologists was smaller because clinicians still consult with radiologists as they review a study on the PACS Web server.

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