How Deconstructed PACS is Changing the Landscape

deconstructed PACSIt seems like yesterday that light boxes, film and rolloscopes were the norm in radiology. However, the future, even back then, was increasingly pointing toward a digital process. Quickly, film took a back seat to new technology. Are we at that point again as the conversation turns to deconstructed PACS (picture archiving communication system)?

The first iterations of PACS were a repository for images, which could be moved across dual networks, one of which was for images and the other demographics. By 2010, it was difficult to find a radiologist who hadn’t gone completely digital. While there was some intimation of change in the air, most providers didn’t want to replace one PACS with another similar system.

The limitations of PACS began to really become clear as other technologies surpassed the technology that PACS was built around, which led to frustration and a near desperate search for something to bridge the gap.

Nobody would disagree with the fact that PACS was a revolution in terms of the way it affected the radiology community. However, PACS as the rock star in radiology has fallen to something akin to an open-mic-night closer. Taking its place is deconstructed PACS.

In a deconstructed PACS scenario, the core elements of what makes PACS work are being integrated together using a standards-based approach. This is giving providers more control over how they work with images and manage informatics assets.

PACS simply can’t handle all the radiology technology, such as digital breast tomosynthesis technology, which produce huge files that are not compatible with most traditional PACS, or not easily compatible.

Due to a variety of workflow challenges healthcare professionals began to see with traditional PACS, the focus turned to deconstructed PACS. This concept got a major boost through the development of vendor neutral archiving (VNA), which can work with DICOM and non-DICOM images, giving more flexibility than traditional PACS.

One of the greatest advantages noted by those who have undertaken a deconstructed PACS model is greater control. They see great value in not having to buy isolated archives from imaging vendors and undergoing massive data migrations, which were also very costly.

Also advantageous in a deconstructed PACS scenario is the fact the HL7 data, which is vital to a workflow engine, can communicate with systems both upstream and downstream. If you’re looking for a deconstructed PACS solution, make sure the vendor is using true VNA technology, which should also offer the option of working with HL7 data.

At OffSite Image Management, Inc., we’ve developed deconstructed PACS technology with a robust VNA architecture, ensuring that our clients save money, yet improve the way they handle their image workflow. Contact us today and find out how our solutions can benefit you and your organization.