I was rather disheartened with the one-sided accounting of handling digital assets outside of traditional PACS systems that was cited in your recent publication of Healthcare Informatics "Image is Everything," April 2007 by Mark Hagland. It's been shown with great success that basic Document Management (or Enterprise Content Management) systems are more aptly suited for handling digital assets outside the medical modalities of traditional PACS. Why wasn't that point of view delivered. DM/ECM systems have many more years experience in handling disparate and unstructured assets such as MS-office documents, PDF, video, audio, etc. at substantial cost savings. They can also be easily deployed in the business and insurance areas of a traditional healthcare organization to aid process management and flow. DM/ECM based systems have robust retention management capabilities built in, making it possible to actively manage and purge information in a timely manner. Finally, basic DM/ECM systems can handle the manipulation and storage of hundreds of different digital asset types from numerous input devices (fax, scanner, digital cameras, electronic report, XML, etc.). PACS systems are not capable of these feats at this time.
We store DICOM modality information in our DM/ECM environment with great success. I feel the better question to be posed is why can't DM/ECM systems be employed for medical modality storage and retrieval?
Think it over.
Respectfully, David M. Partsch
Enterprise Imaging & Content Management
Information Technology Dept.
Geisinger Health System
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