Nine Capabilities Your PAC System Should Have

Outfitting your practice with a PAC system can be a significant investment. As such, its benefits should bring a tremendous amount of value to your practice. To help you source the right vendor for your office, we have compiled a list of nine capabilities your PAC system should have.

1. Integrated Image Review and Reporting

In the past, reports and their respective images were kept separate, but as PACS technology has evolved, report integration has become more important. Integrated image review and reporting means that your PAC system is not in danger of misappropriating sensitive medical information. It also increases efficiency because study data can be populated directly into the report.

2. Seamless Network Integration

To have a truly central repository for all documents with any clinical relevance, you want your PAC system to be able to access any image from any system or network. Additionally, you want a PAC system that can be implemented easily and with minimal disruption to the current pace of your practice.

3. Multi-modality

Your PAC system should have the capability to conveniently access and store images from multiple modalities, such as digital x-ray’s, tomographic images, magnetic resonance images (MRIs), and so forth. This will eliminate the need for other image storage media and minimize the time spent searching and organizing patient records suitably.

4. Anywhere, Anytime Access

Your PAC system should offer capabilities for off-site viewing and reporting. It should also enable colleagues and other specialists in different physical locations to simultaneously access the same patient data in a timely manner.

5. Editing Tools

PACS technology offers the ability to notate images, highlight text, and perform any number of editing functions within patient records. Ensure that your intended PACS vendor offers this capability as part of its package to further streamline and improve your workflow and productivity.

6. HIPAA Compliance Capabilities

Respecting patient confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Consequently, your PAC system must adhere strictly to the prescribed privacy safeguards of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Your system should provide password-protected access to encrypted data, and only those with the proper authority should be able to access PACS data via the Internet.

7. Secure Web Delivery

When investing in a new cloud-based PAC system, ensure that your provider has appropriate security measures in place, especially in cases where a private cloud is not part of the package. You should be able to track and record data for auditing purposes. Additionally, data that is in transit must be encrypted using Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and web connections should use https: protocols to inhibit the activity of hackers.

8. Historic Comparisons

Most traditional PAC systems do not offer simple historic comparisons of patient information. However, to ensure that you are providing the best, individualized care and attention to your patients, it is imperative that your PAC system have the capability to house all past and present medical data for each patient in one electronic portfolio. Past conditions may sometimes dictate the best plan of action for a patient’s current complaint. As a result, historic comparisons are vital for accurate diagnoses.

9. Customization

You PAC system should be fully customizable to fit your needs. Your intended PACS vendor should offer custom interface development services to meet your unique specifications. Just as all patients must be treated individually, your PAC system should not be a one-size-fits-all mechanism.

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