For modern medical practices, an efficient and versatile picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is one of the most important tools used in patient care.
PACS perform several essential functions, such as:
- Consult and collaborate
- Provide a workstation to enable radiologists and doctors to view and study images
- Facilitate communication between clinicians to remotely consult on patient cases
- View diagnostic images and medical workup to facilitate patient diagnosis and treatment
There are plenty of systems to choose from on the market today, but not all come with the same PACS advantages. In this article, we highlight the benefits that your department will receive when you have a modern PACS solution.
1. Better Patient Care
Outweighing all other PACS advantages, delivering patients fast and accurate results is the gold standard.
The PACS should be geared toward efficiency for radiologists and other physicians, including a streamlined workflow and ergonomic features. Having an integrated patient record viewable in storyboard format from Novarad enables physicians to assess changes over time, facilitate seamless collaboration with colleagues, and engage patients. Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians can access information in shorter timeframes, a key asset in critical decision-making for at-risk patients. The result is faster, more accurate diagnoses that lead to better overall care and treatment plans.
2. Significant Reduction of Overheads
A crucial metric to consider is whether the cost of the PACS provides a better ROI than other platforms. Look for cost-effectiveness in the following areas:
- Storage: Centralized storage and unlimited access to images will lower operating costs, such as unnecessary hardware expenses.
- Automation: Leveraging technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence eliminates manual tasks that would otherwise drain valuable staffing resources.
- Consolidation: All-in-one platforms enable cost-effectiveness that comes from single-vendor solutions versus accounting for multiple billing cycles and usages.
For example, Novarad integrates a series of technologies along with the PACS, including:
- Chameleon DR: Digital radiography system with advanced and adaptive image processing
- CryptoChart: Simple, secure sharing of patient images and reports without CDs, passwords, or portals
- Nova RIS: A productivity system that manages the complete patient experience, from scheduling appointments to distributing clinical reports
- Nova3D+: Real-time advanced graphic processing to perform advanced imaging techniques
3. Greater Workflow Efficiency
Due to the need for adaptations across every aspect of healthcare caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, an essential PACS advantage is facilitating a better overall workflow. Ensuring that every staff member—physicians, clerical employees, IT staff, etc.—can work with greater efficiency helps facilitate every aspect of an optimized healthcare practice. From more accurate patient diagnoses and faster reporting to reimbursement from commercial payers, these benefits hinge on an efficient PACS.
Novarad offers better workflow efficiency from software to hardware. For example, NovaPACS enables radiologists to work faster and more efficiently/ergonomically as they read images for their patients and referring physicians. This all-in-one workstation enables physicians to view a wide range of studies (X-ray, MRI, CT, Mammography, 3D, PET, and even cardiology) from one place without wasting time or energy moving from workstation to workstation.
4. Mobile Device Capabilities
The widespread adoption of teleradiology has made it a necessity for integration with mobile devices. Radiologists and physicians should be able to access images whenever they need to and wherever the images are located on any available device. Ensuring compatibility and access is a top priority that should not go unchecked, as critical decisions can be delayed due to poor connections to databases.
Novarad offers many options that integrate mobile device capabilities, such as:
- AlertView: A mobile-device alert system that notifies physicians when reports are ready for evaluation
- CryptoChart: Modernized medical information that can simply and securely be shared without CDs, passwords, or portals
- Novarad’s MobileRad Radiologist Viewer app: An iPad application that radiologists can use to view and manipulate patients’ images and view diagnostic reports from multiple locations, etc.
- Also, referring physicians can download the MobileRad app for consultation and reviewing purposes for cross-platform compatibility.
5. Comprehensive HIPAA Compliance
Non-compliance with HIPAA standards can lead to severe fines and penalties. Non-compliance spans such aspects as the unauthorized sharing of sensitive patient health information to negligent network security (even if unintentional).
Ensuring continual HIPAA compliance is mandatory for a healthcare practice to avoid significant fines and penalties or even a complete business shutdown until any violations are resolved.
Due to the prevalence and incorporation of mobile devices in healthcare, ensuring that your PACS solution is fully compliant and secure across all devices should be one of the most highly prioritized PACS advantages. In addition to HIPAA logs and admin tools to help you stay compliant, Novarad offers the Snapview app for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices for HIPAA-compliant image capture to minimize risk and ensure compliance.
6. Modern Cyber Security
Hackers and cybercriminals often target healthcare practices for substantial sums of money, using ransomware to prohibit access to patient information or hacks to gain access to financial details. Cybercrime is prevalent among PACS due to the intrinsic vulnerabilities of DICOM file formats. Furthermore, with the increasing use of mobile devices and the vulnerability of teleradiology, radiology has become a prime target for cyberattacks.
When choosing a PACS, be sure to verify the level of cybersecurity that the platform offers. Novarad offers several solutions to bolster your practice’s cybersecurity at every vulnerability, including PACS and other systems. CryptoChart transforms the way that a hospital, clinic, or imaging center shares patient images and information by using highly encrypted QR codes, patient images, and information that can be shared simply and securely without CDs, passwords, or logins.
There are many PACS advantages to consider when choosing a solution for your practice. Carefully consider how each system would work to achieve your goals of a fast, secure, and profitable practice.
At Novarad, we believe that the key to a successful imaging center is to work smarter, not harder. We want to deliver the type of care and outcomes that patients demand in today’s tech-centric world to create a patient-centric work model. To meet this demand for a PACS, NovaPACS boasts many advanced features, intelligent routing, and automation for many clinical tasks, enabling users to effectively focus on the most critical work.
Unlike many other companies, NovaPACS is web-based and simple to customize, enabling radiologists to work where, when, and how they want to. It’s simple and easy to use yet sophisticated enough to support large/enterprise hospitals.
Here at Novarad, we believe that the key to a successful imaging center is to work smarter, not harder, to deliver the type of care and outcomes that patients desire.
To see how we can help improve your workflows, feel free to reach out to our workflow specialists today!