Picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) are in heavy use in the clinical setting, yet there are growth opportunities for the next generation of storage and imaging sharing technologies, according to the 2015 Imaging Technology Study published by HIMSS Analytics.
The report is based on insights from 144 hospital, healthcare system and ambulatory PACS and radiology leaders examining provider’s imaging environment needs and drivers.
“While many organizations are comfortable with their PACS imaging technology, there seems to be some opportunity on an enterprise level to get as much information as possible into the hands of physicians at the point of care,” HIMSS Analytics research director Brendan FitzGerald said in a release. “Enterprise imaging viewing capabilities across numerous technology platforms could potentially aid in that effort
While study respondents indicated a high level of PACS adoption across the industry there are some areas the study highlights as potential growth opportunities.
Nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated the use of an enterprise image viewer to meet their imaging needs. According to the report, while many organizations currently utilize multiple servers across their organization to address their storage needs, there was an increase in the adoption of image repositories with dynamic imaging capabilities and cloud solutions. With image sharing across organizations only expected to rise there is room across these storage solutions for growth.
One of the benefits to an enterprise image viewer is the ability to view images without location restriction. THE HIMSS Analytics report states that respondents indicated continued heavy use of PACS workstations inside and outside of the radiology department, but there was an increase in the use of image enabled electronic health records (EHRs).
In terms of future plans for image access, respondents indicate there considering smartphones (28 percent) and tablets (35 percent) for image access across the enterprise.
The study looks into enterprise image viewing adoption and plans for future adoption, current and future imaging point of access by technology and unique voice of customer feedback around the impact of the change in payment models and accountable care will have on imaging.