In Part 1 of this topic we focused on how a PACS System can improve your practice workflow. Here are four additional ways that a PACS System can help your practice.
Provides a central repository for all patient records
The right PACS System will bring all your patient records into a single, searchable and secure repository. Having easy access to all your records is a significant benefit but, you also need to consider how the system you select will connect to other PACS Systems. The right system will allow you to share your records with members of your healthcare group and outside hospital systems as well. To have a truly central repository for all the medical records and images for all your patients, you want a PACS System that will enable access to any image from any system. Additionally, your PACS System can best help your practice if it supports all digital modalities (and their associated data), versus a single modality.
Delivers a standardized method of imaging and reporting
Medical images can be obtained from a wide range of instruments (ultrasound, magnetic resonance, digital radiography, etc.), and from number of different providers (radiology, cardiology, gastroenterology, etc.) Your PACS System should be able to provide a standardized method of imaging and reporting. An easy-to-access method of retrieving, reviewing, and reporting diverse images will significantly increase efficiency throughout your practice and enable you to spend more time with your patients. The time spent trying to access and connect to a variety of image formats is a waste for your practice.
Ensures secure archiving
Diagnostic images and medical data stored in your PACS System should be secure and accessed only by providers that you authorize. Unlike paper folders, which are potentially visible to anyone within reach of the front desk, a digital system should provide password-protected access to 256 bit encrypted data. Strict security safeguards should be in place to protect patient information from unauthorized access, use, error, or loss. The privacy safeguards presented in the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) should be strictly adhered to in the PACS System you choose. Further, access to HIPAA compliant data can be tracked and recorded for audit purposes. Incorporating a PACS into your practice clearly demonstrates to both your patients and your personnel that you are running a professional and organized practice where patient confidentiality is respected.
Assists with gaining accreditation
It’s no secret that major insurers are starting to require accreditation. With reimbursement being closely linked to those accreditation standards, choosing a PACS System that can maintain and generate reports and assist with gaining proper accreditation will help keep your practice flowing financially.