If you work in radiology or in another healthcare field, you are likely to have come across the famous “cloud technology” and how it is shaping the entire healthcare system. One of the newest developments in PACS systems is a move into the cloud. With the increasing importance of the cloud-based functioning, more and more healthcare businesses across the world are moving to the cloud. But when you are not sure whether it is a sound choice, it is always good to have a glance at the benefits of cloud based radiology PACS systems. It’s one of the latest technologies in the healthcare industry, allowing the radiologists and doctors to store, manage and share images electronically.
What Is PACS?
As we are targeting the healthcare professionals, it is common that everyone knows about PACS or have heard this term at least once. If you’re not quite sure what it actually means; it’s a picture archiving and communications system. The technically advanced system will store the images and reports, unlike the traditional method of manually filing, retrieving and transporting film jackets, which are used for storing X-ray film. Followings are the common components of PACS:
- Imaging modalities—This system is responsible for doing the actual scanning of a patient in producing a medical image.
- Secure network —It takes care of uploading and transferring the database for the images.
- Workstation — This is the place that allows the professional radiologists and doctors to view and study the image.
- Archives for storage—This serves as a secure area where the scanned images are stored along with other supporting documents that are available for the people who are permitted to view it.
The Advantages of Cloud-Based PACS
Cost – One of the most common benefits that the radiologists and doctors can enjoy with the PACS software systems, backed by cloud technology, is that it saves a lot of money. According to the data available, most imaging centers or hospitals that have already implemented these cloud-based radiology PACS claimed to have noticed a significant reduction in overall costs. As these systems are equipped with advanced technology, there is no more need to install those costly HVAS systems as there is no more need to onsite data center cool. And at the same time, the responsibility of the data backup and recovery is also going to be handled by the cloud vendor.
Access and Patient Care – Another benefit of using the PACS solutions is that they are quite flexible for the doctors and radiologists who need access to medical records while they’re outside of their hospital’s network. It is just like accessing email from your personal laptop. You just need to have internet connection and you can login to the account and access to the files from any corner of the world. This can help reduce a lot of workload as there is no need to handle those images physically. Location no longer matters in terms of access to medical records. This means, you can spend a lot of your time on the other important tasks like improving quality of patient care, etc.
Environmental – Almost every invention these days is based on the sole aim of protecting the Mother Nature and natural resources for the coming generations. Similar is the case when it comes to cloud based radiology PACS as this helps avoid the image of paper and plastic. At the same time, it also helps reduce the carbon emission produced from on-site data storage centers. This will not just help you contribute to the greener tomorrow, but also ensures reducing the amount of energy needed to run, cool, and eventually dispose of these systems. And you are also not going to hire an individual professional to handle the maintenance and operations of the data center as it will be managed by the vendor.
Overcoming Fear of Adoption – We know that the healthcare industry is fast adopting various types of technologies and inventions like 3D organ building, laser, etc., but many healthcare professionals also feel skeptical of security protocol and disaster management for cloud-based servers. The fear can be only avoided when you are dealing with a trusted service provider and having a Cloud PACS systems use documented HIPAA enforcement rules and Health-Level 7 (HL7) transmission protocols ensuring data encryption.
No Overheads on Physical Storage – When you are in the healthcare business and have many patients coming to you every day, it is going to be quite tough to manage the data that is available in physical form. You’re going to need a lot of space and investment for paper and images. In fact, many healthcare professionals claim that managing the copies of patient studies can be the biggest challenge as they consume tremendous amount of space. At the same time, maintenance of the physical files and the space for years is going to be a costly affair. On the other hands, opting for the PACS software system allows you that you are free from all such worries. Everything is going to be stored on the cloud storage and you can access the files anytime you want to.
The Bottom Line
A radiology PACS system is a combination of a PACS software and hardware, which is aimed to store the images on both a short and long-term basis. It is going to be a revolutionary technology for not just the radiologists, but other healthcare professionals too. These systems are highly advanced and powered with cloud based technology, which offers a much more efficient method for storing, distributing, and managing medical images without any hassle.
Are you a radiologist, a doctor, or a medical office manager? If yes, then investing in the cloud based radiology PACS is the right choice to make for handling medical and billing records electronically. This lets you cope up with the changing trends in the industry and offer your patients a much better and convenient patient care services.