Society launches PACS administration certification effort

April 27, 2006

The burgeoning field of PACS administration will have its own certification and testing program under an initiative announced Thursday by the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR).

SIIM officials and the keynote speaker addressed the radiology informatics news media on Thursday. From left are Dr. Bradley J. Erickson, chair of the annual meeting program committee, Dr. Curtis P. Langlotz, SIIM chair-elect, Ben Shneiderman, Ph.D., keynote speaker at the opening ceremony, Richard L. Morin, Ph.D., SIIM chair, and J. Anthony Seibert, Ph.D., chair of the imaging informatics administration certification committee.

The burgeoning field of PACS administration will have its own certification and testing program under an initiative announced Thursday by the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (formerly SCAR).

Dubbed the Certified Imaging Informatics Professional program, the effort could lead to a test for certification as soon as September 2007, said J. Anthony Siebert, Ph.D., former SCAR chair and now chair of the imaging informatics administration certification committee.

The announcement caps several years of behind-the-scenes work and a growing interest by the membership in developing a PACS administrator program, said Paul Nagy, Ph.D., a member of the certification committee.

The lack of a certification program for those who manage digital image systems has impeded technological development in radiology informatics, Nagy said. In addition, SCAR members have been asking the society to establish a training and certification track reflecting the roles of PACS administrators.

Approximately 4000 people who now work as PACS administrators could be eligible for certification, Nagy said. Rapid growth in PACS installations could add another 6000 to that figure within the next four years.

Steps to establish the program are already under way and will follow a defined course, said Richard L. Morin, Ph.D, chair of SIIM. The tasks include establishing standards for those who can apply for the certification and developing a test to assess competence. While the work is currently proceeding under the auspices of SIIM, eventually the certifying organization will be independent of SIIM.

SIIM officials are accepting comments on the proposal from members of the imaging informatics community. Additional details about the program and how to comment are available at the SIIM Web site, http://www.scarnet.net/ciip/index.htm .