Temple University radiology PACS attempts to reel in cardiology

July 26, 2005

Hospital cardiology departments tend to swim in their own PACS waters. At Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, the radiology department is attempting to lure cardiology to join the radiology PACS.

Hospital cardiology departments tend to swim in their own PACS waters. At Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, the radiology department is attempting to lure cardiology to join the radiology PACS.

The bait is a better PACS tool set - which doesn't yet exist.

"We're in the process of replacing and upgrading our radiology PACS to be large enough handle all digital imaging for the five-hospital Temple University Healthcare System," said Ron Zink, director of clinical services.

The current radiology PACS has reached its end of life. The replacement PACS will field enough capacity to include cardiology, according to Zink.

Two principal challenges are that cardiology is satisfied with the PACS they already have, and the cardiology package on the upgraded radiology PACS is not fully developed.

"Hopefully, by the time we're ready for cardiology early next year, the cardiology package will have a tool set that the cardiologists will actually prefer to what they are using currently," Zink said.

The new PACS vendor has met with Temple's cardiologists and is attempting to accommodate their tool set wishes.

Zink admits the hospital is swimming against the current by expecting cardiology to join radiology in one large systemwide PACS pool.

"Everybody is concerned about their own backyard, but we're of the philosophy that we're much better off if we can grow the imaging pie versus arguing on how to divide the imaging pie," Zink said.

Negotiations between radiology and cardiology aren't finished. Not everyone is holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" around the PACS campfire just yet.

"But we definitely have gotten people to the mind-set that we can either sit here and fight each other, or we can worry about fighting the competition and get more business in the door," he said.