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Pac Case

September 22nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments



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Pac Case

More and more, health care facilities are discovering the benefits of PACS systems when it comes to diagnosing health disorders faster and more accurately than ever before. The reason is digital imagery, which allows us to see more clearly into the human body without the need to resort to invasive procedures than ever before. However, this is only one of the benefits of modern pacs systems.

A Short History Digital imagery is nothing new; it has been used in film and television since the mid-1980s. However, at the time, this technology was slow, cumbersome and extremely expensive. It did however lay the foundation of digital Picture Archive and Communications, or PAC systems that would revolutionize diagnostic medicine during the following decade.

The first such system to find its way into the health care industry was a Radiology Information System or RIS PACS at the Ohio State University Medical Center Radiology Department in 1991. At that time, only well-funded hospitals could afford PACS systems; the OSU system cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the center's RIS PACS more than paid for itself over the course of the next ten years. By 2001, the Radiology Department was able to replace their old photo development lab and its costly materials, toxic chemicals and labor intensive procedures with new PC-based pacs workstations.

In addition, their physicians were able to dramatically decrease the amount of time spent in diagnosing and dictating cases; the entire procedure could be completed in three hours. Since that time, there have been incredible drops in the cost of computer hardware, particularly processors, RAM and most importantly, storage media. A RIS PACS system can archive vast quantities of digital files on a server, eliminating the need for large storage rooms with endless rows of file folders. In addition, using their PACS workstations, clinic personnel can create complete patient archives that include not only image data from MRI or CAT scans, but also sound files of dictation, word documents and other data – all stored in one place and easily retrieved when needed. A New Era in Consultation Even television's Dr. House gets stumped from time to time and needs to consult with faraway colleagues. A RIS PACS system allows you to make medical images available over a LAN or the World Wide Web, so if you run across a particularly challenging case, it's easy to consult with a colleague anywhere on the globe in real-time.

The RIS PACS can be configured with numerous security protocols and with 128-bit encryption, so only authorized personnel will be able to access sensitive patient records. Finally, todays RIS PACS can be configured to make automatic backups that can be stored on portable media such as DVDs or on an offsite server – insuring that your clinic is in compliance with HIPAA regulations in case of a disaster. An Excellent and Affordable Investment The PACS systems that cost several hundred thousand dollars only ten years ago can be purchased for a small fraction of that amount today. Basic PACS systems now start at around $5000, and are easily upgraded as space and funding allow.

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