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  • 1. The PAC SystemThe PAC System By Andi ShermanBy Andi Sherman CIS Spring 2004CIS Spring 2004
  • 2. Intro to RadiologyIntro to Radiology Radiology is a fast growing area of the health profession in most hospitals and private clinics all over the US. With the ability to quickly diagnose such health issues as broken bones, cancer, and abnormalities of the soft tissues of the body, along with being able to use sonography to see a fetus in the womb and other tasks, radiology will soon be able to diagnose any health issue that a patient brings to a physician.
  • 3. What is PACS?What is PACS?  The PACSThe PACS stands for Picture Archival and Communicationstands for Picture Archival and Communication System.System.  These technology systems allow medical images to beThese technology systems allow medical images to be stored on compact optical disks rather than in large, costly,stored on compact optical disks rather than in large, costly, file rooms.file rooms.  The major components of a PACS system are:The major components of a PACS system are: 1. Image acquisition system1. Image acquisition system 2. Control Computer2. Control Computer 3. Image Display work Stations3. Image Display work Stations 4. Image Archiving system4. Image Archiving system 5. Computer network (LAN or WAN)5. Computer network (LAN or WAN)
  • 4. PACS ContinuedPACS Continued  The different radiology systems thatThe different radiology systems that can utilize and access the PACScan utilize and access the PACS system aresystem are - MR scanner- MR scanner - CT scanner- CT scanner - Computed Radiography unit- Computed Radiography unit - Nuclear Medicine Cameras- Nuclear Medicine Cameras - PET scanner- PET scanner
  • 5. Components of the PACSComponents of the PACS The main component of the PACS is the control computer. The control computer is used to store the images taken during procedures and distribute them around the hospital when needed. The images can also be printed on film if a hard copy is needed for another facility or for reference in a facility outside the hospital (such as a private clinic). A good control computer should interface with the Radiology Information System (RIS) and the Hospital Information System (HIS). The control computer can be found in any of the departments of a hospital, but it will most likely be found in the radiology or nuclear medicine departments.
  • 6. The Image Display NetworkThe Image Display Network All images can be accessed andAll images can be accessed and viewed from the image displayviewed from the image display network stations The purpose of thenetwork stations The purpose of the image display work stations are toimage display work stations are to enable radiologists to make diagnosesenable radiologists to make diagnoses on these images while viewing themon these images while viewing them on a computer screen. The monitorson a computer screen. The monitors needed for these stations must be ofneeded for these stations must be of a very high resolution. The minimuma very high resolution. The minimum size of these monitors is 2048x2048size of these monitors is 2048x2048 pixels. Sometimes one will find twopixels. Sometimes one will find two monitors together in one workspace.monitors together in one workspace. This allows the radiologist to compareThis allows the radiologist to compare the two images, the most recent tothe two images, the most recent to the last image taken at a previousthe last image taken at a previous visit and shows any improvementsvisit and shows any improvements that the patient may have made.that the patient may have made.
  • 7. Image Archiving SystemImage Archiving System  short termshort term  type of media needed to archive the information would betype of media needed to archive the information would be RAIDs or redundant arrays of inexpensive disks.RAIDs or redundant arrays of inexpensive disks.  This is because short term archiving is rapid access, inThis is because short term archiving is rapid access, in which the information needs to be accessed quickly and haswhich the information needs to be accessed quickly and has to be on hand whenever necessary.to be on hand whenever necessary.  long term.long term.  types of medias used for long term archiving are opticaltypes of medias used for long term archiving are optical disks or a magnetic tape.disks or a magnetic tape.  type of archiving is for images that can be stored over longtype of archiving is for images that can be stored over long periods of time and do not need to be accessed right away.periods of time and do not need to be accessed right away.
  • 8. NetworkNetwork  All computers within the PAC system are connected to a network.All computers within the PAC system are connected to a network.  This computer network facilitates the transmission of images toThis computer network facilitates the transmission of images to various areas within the radiology or nuclear medicine department.various areas within the radiology or nuclear medicine department.  can be set up in other departments of the hospitalcan be set up in other departments of the hospital  Images can be sent to those departments if neededImages can be sent to those departments if needed  If other facilities outside of the hospital are connected to a networkIf other facilities outside of the hospital are connected to a network that is shared by the hospital’s PACS the images can then bethat is shared by the hospital’s PACS the images can then be transferred to the locations outside the department and also outsidetransferred to the locations outside the department and also outside the hospitalthe hospital  Sometimes the images can be transferred over a large distance suchSometimes the images can be transferred over a large distance such as state to stateas state to state  The term for the transmission of images over a distance isThe term for the transmission of images over a distance is “teleradiology”.“teleradiology”.
  • 9. Advantages to PACSAdvantages to PACS  PACS canPACS can  offset expenses of film and related labor,offset expenses of film and related labor,  reduce file room clerical FTEs (or File Transfer Errors),reduce file room clerical FTEs (or File Transfer Errors),  eliminate the problem of lost film that results in lost revenue and repeateliminate the problem of lost film that results in lost revenue and repeat exams.exams.  Existing file rooms will decrease in size and new projects will require smallerExisting file rooms will decrease in size and new projects will require smaller file management areas when images are stored on file instead of on film.file management areas when images are stored on file instead of on film.  improves staff productivity because they will be better able to access imagesimproves staff productivity because they will be better able to access images to diagnose results.to diagnose results.  able to simplify the operational workflow in diagnostic imaging services byable to simplify the operational workflow in diagnostic imaging services by automatically allowing access to images and reports which with then beautomatically allowing access to images and reports which with then be simultaneously accessible to radiology and clinical staff.simultaneously accessible to radiology and clinical staff.  improve the productivity of imaging devices because there is less time spentimprove the productivity of imaging devices because there is less time spent filming and processing studiesfilming and processing studies
  • 10. Problems with the PACSProblems with the PACS  there are many vendors providing medical imaging devices withthere are many vendors providing medical imaging devices with different means of communication between the stations.different means of communication between the stations.  a system of standards was developed in order to allow thea system of standards was developed in order to allow the different systems to communicate with each other and share thedifferent systems to communicate with each other and share the same images.same images.  ““This problem was debated among the radiology communityThis problem was debated among the radiology community through the American College of Radiology (ACR) and in industrythrough the American College of Radiology (ACR) and in industry through the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)through the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) In early 1983 the ACR-NEMA Digital Imaging and CommunicationIn early 1983 the ACR-NEMA Digital Imaging and Communication Standards Committee was founded.”Standards Committee was founded.”  From this committee, a system called DICOM was created.From this committee, a system called DICOM was created.  DICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications inDICOM stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.Medicine.
  • 11. Does PACS Really Make ADoes PACS Really Make A Difference?Difference?  According to the graph, ConsumerAccording to the graph, Consumer Trends research about the factors thatTrends research about the factors that are most important to patients whenare most important to patients when they select a hospital show that thethey select a hospital show that the highest percentage was the hospitalhighest percentage was the hospital having the latest and most high-techhaving the latest and most high-tech equipment and technology.equipment and technology.  Not only is the PACS the most up-to-Not only is the PACS the most up-to- date and accommodating electronicdate and accommodating electronic system in the radiology and nuclearsystem in the radiology and nuclear medicine departments today, it is alsomedicine departments today, it is also faster, easier and more efficient, bothfaster, easier and more efficient, both in cost and time management.in cost and time management.  The amount of money and spaceThe amount of money and space saved in using PACS instead of filmssaved in using PACS instead of films and a developing room, could equaland a developing room, could equal more money being spent on themore money being spent on the radiology department as a whole andradiology department as a whole and updating other technology andupdating other technology and equipment.equipment. Healthcare Consumer Trends Survey 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% LatestTechnology C ourtesy ofH ospitalStaff Variety ofSpecialists Physician R ecom m endation C ostofServices C lose to H om e Friend/Fam ily R ecom m endation R eligious Affiliation Factors Important to Selection of Hospital PercentofImportance Series1
  • 12. THE ENDTHE END

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