Recent advances in technology have forced many healthcare providers to rethink their current PACS or RIS setup. New dashboards are giving providers a much more comprehensive and custom-fitted view of their processes. Also advancing are the workflow management capabilities, ability to generate more thorough reports, analytics and search functions.

Data Storage 5The rate at which these advances are taking place is startling: Just five years ago, your computer system in your radiology department was probably many times slower than what is available today. DICOM storage capacity has also become much more accessible to users in the healthcare industry. So what questions about whether or not you need an upgrade should you be asking yourself at your practice or hospital?

The disconnect between the administrators and the IT staff can be fairly distinct, which means these two entities need to get together and determine what current IT staff is capable of handling on their own. How technically skilled are the radiologists? Radiologists are often the middlemen in expressing to administrators exactly what is needed and exactly what IT is capable of handling on their own without outside help.

The PACS administrator should be certified. If you’ve already got someone in that position without the necessary skills to be certified, you’ll likely have a difficult time incorporating new DICOM storage systems. With a certified administrator in place, you’ve got the complete package for a great partnership.

How cognizant are you of the latest technologies available? It’s difficult to stay ahead of the game and offer your patients the best quality care possible if you’re behind the curve. Staying on top of what everyone else is doing or will be doing in the future can help you make decisions that best fit your radiology services and allow you to effectively communicate to specialists operating on any number of hardware at other locations.

Why is DICOM so important? There are so many hardware and software formats available to healthcare providers today that the need for a system that allows for the critically important images to be shared across them that a system had to be created to seamlessly share the images. Radiology departments following the DICOM standard are ensuring that their digital image format and file structure are used in such a way that networks from virtually any hospital can transmit, store and print medical imaging. The DICOM standard is so pervasive today that practically every healthcare provider involved in imaging is using it.

One company that understands the challenges radiology departments and hospitals share is OffSite Image Management, Inc. Founded by professionals who have many years of experience in the radiology industry, the solutions provided by OffSite deliver quality results, particularly to the rural critical care centers where resources are limited. OffSite’s solutions, from their vendor neutral archiving, virtual CD – cloud management, health information exchange and PACS platforms are reasonably priced yet offer top-notch functionality that is helping medical professionals to deliver excellent care to their patients.