Since picture archiving communication systems (PACS) came into existence, they’ve allowed countless healthcare professionals access to tools that allow them to store, retrieve and manage their patients’ radiology data. But are you now asking your PACS to do more than it was designed to?

PACS first hit the mainstream in the 1980s after almost a decade of development. From the first large PACS, installed at the University of Kansas medical facility in Kansas City, Kan. in 1982, the technology then ramped up to more widespread use. But even as late as 2008, the merits of PACS were still being discussed. By now, PACS have been cemented into the workflow for most healthcare facilities, but there have been advancements that can work alongside PACS for improved effect.

Enterprise Imaging

There has been a movement toward healthcare reform over the last decade that included adopting electronic medical records (EMRs), which was largely out of a need for improving access while also making safeguards meant to protect patient privacy. PACS and radiology information systems (RIS) had to be made compatible with these electronic regulations, including various HL7 guidelines, including one that requires radiologists to make their images and notes electronically available to patients within 48 hours of the exam.

Enterprise imaging is a complicated subject, and it involves a variety of technical terms. But simply put, your approach to enterprise imaging should include using strategies and initiatives that create a workflow across your healthcare enterprise, allowing you to consistently capture, store, analyze, access and share imaging without complication. It was often the case that proprietary imaging tools put the brakes on PACS allowing radiologists to do their jobs unhindered. Fortunately, vendor neutral archiving (VNA) has been developed to sidestep accessibility issues.

Introducing VNA

VNA is often thought of as the best way to view images more easily. For example, let’s say you’ve got disparate PACS throughout your healthcare facility and you are trying to share images between them. When you adopt the right VNA technology, you will have a solution for supporting DICOM and non-DICOM content. Your VNA will allow you to aggregate query results from many disparate PACS. It will support on-premise, hybrid and cloud storage architecture and it is perhaps most importantly – browser agnostic.

At OffSite Image Management, we have been part of the steady evolution of PACS and VNA technology. Our approach delivers on the definition of “true” VNA and can be offered all from the convenience of the cloud. Find out more about how we’re saving our clients time and money while helping them provide better patient care by contacting us today.