In general, technology has a positive impact on the excellence of health services. From the doctor’s work to the customer service, the whole process benefits from it. In this sense, one of the main advances in the health area was the creation of the PACS system. PACS stands for Picture Archiving and Communication System) Due to the PACS System, the diagnostic imaging sector, are being able to rely on an electronic system for storing, visualizing, and preparing medical reports facilitates everyday life, which increases productivity and safety.
In this article, we will talk more about PACS, its advantages, and its implementation. Good reading!
How does the PACS system work?
PACS provides interaction between environments that have communication, visualization, manipulation, and storage of medical images in health services. In a simplified way, the system consists of five basic steps.
- First, equipment used in diagnostic tests captures images of the studied body part.
- Then, the records are transmitted by the equipment to an image server, through a transfer protocol, which determines in what format they will be (DICOM, HL7, among others).
- In the third step, the transmitted data is stored in a database on the server itself, or in an external data structure, such as the cloud (internet filing location).
- Once stored, the information is available for viewing on workstations (offline) or systems located on the web, such as the platforms used by telemedicine companies.
- Finally, data can be acquired by patients and healthcare professionals, as long as they are accredited to download, print, or save this information.
Learn about the benefits of PACS
Now that you know how the system works, let’s move on to its main benefits, which currently impact large, medium, and small healthcare facilities.
After all, PACS is one of the technologies that allow the creation of databases automatically, without requiring that all users do constant maintenance or have in-depth knowledge of programming.
Provides quick access to patients’ images and reports
A few decades ago, it was common for patients to circulate in different health units carrying their medical records. This is because, with each service, new information about consultations, medication prescriptions, orders, and examination reports are added to the medical history. As this document was only available on paper, its sharing was quite restricted. Then, you can imagine the existing difficulty when searching for information necessary for the evaluation of exams and the diagnosis of diseases. All this was left behind with the digitization of files and the adoption of PACS for data sharing.
Whenever necessary, patients, doctors, and other health professionals can access the medical record, consulting the entire patient history with just a few clicks. For instance, If diabetes is suspected, it is possible to consult the results of blood glucose tests.
Radiological films needed to be properly developed, which only happened with the use of chemicals. This process involved the purchase of equipment, films, and products, in addition to the separation of space for the development of radiological images. Hence, you can already have an idea of the savings provided by PACS, since there is no need to print the images. In addition to radiology, tests from other medical specialties also benefit from the system, as there is no need to purchase a printer, specific paper, or ink. Of course, when necessary, exams can be printed and delivered to the patient.
Decreases the risk of losing exams
With the transportation of medical records and images by patients and health professionals, there was a risk of losing these documents. Generally, losses required new tests to be performed, as there was only one copy of the images generated. This situation has changed dramatically with the digitization and secure transmission of digital images (in pixels), which are stored in databases, which reduces the risk of loss. Even if the file is accidentally deleted, it is likely that there are other digital copies saved in the cloud, on servers, or shared via email. In the case of radiological images, PACS scanning and archiving eliminate printing on films and possible losses due to their mishandling.
Besides, PACS features improve accessibility, security, and distribution of this type of record, ensuring increased productivity for professionals and offering more comfort and agility to patients. The use of the PACS system also leads to gains in the doctor-patient relationship. This is because the images are presented in high resolution, allowing more peace of mind and security to interpret a possible fracture, for example, and guarantee an accurate, quality, and quick diagnosis.
As you can see, PACS is a system with high quality, and that can generate countless advantages for you and your patients. For this, it is essential to seek advanced systems and recognized suppliers in the market, which can support you in the implementation and training of the teams. The training of your team of professionals might take some time, and, therefore, it is important that it is carried out by competent coaches.
A team that knows how to use technology with ease is fundamental for the successful operation of the system. PACS is a great ally to increase quality, reduce costs, and modernize health services. So, implanting this type of system in your clinic can be a good deal!