PACS/IS vendors need to clear up confusion

April 1, 1998

PACS/IS vendors need to clear up confusionIt was refreshing to see virtually all the major information systems vendors displaying PACS technology at February's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting in Orlando. One hopes

PACS/IS vendors need to clear up confusion

It was refreshing to see virtually all the major information systems vendors displaying PACS technology at February's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society meeting in Orlando. One hopes this can be taken as a sign that radiology images can take their rightful place alongside other clinical data that have been the primary, if not exclusive, focus of IS companies for the past several years.

While the inclusion of radiology is a plus, few, if any, of the IS providers had any idea of either the implications or applications of PACS technology. They understand the big picture regarding the electronic patient record (EPR), but are lost in explaining how PACS works or can be integrated with their systems. The opposite extreme was displayed by PACS vendors, who understand PACS technology exceptionally well but have a limited knowledge of requirements for integrating PACS into an EPR.

Most hospital IS managers, who are tasked with implementing PACS, understand little of the requirements and issues surrounding the technology. They look to vendors for help. And what do they get? For the most part, corporate hype and acronym abuse. They recognize PACS is in their future, however, and need to believe that the approach they're taking makes sense. Achieving PACS market growth requires a warm and fuzzy feeling for the technology. If HIMSS is any indication, we're halfway there already. They've got the fuzzy feeling. All we need now is to provide these PACS decision-makers with the warm part.

-Michael J. Cannavo, president
Image Management Consultants

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