PACS arrives at Chldren's
Digital picture system improves service and care
|S. Ted Treves, MD, vice-chair of Radiology
IT and chief of Nuclear Medicine, views a high-resolution
image over Children's PACS network.
Children's Hospital Boston's Department of Radiology is in the
final stages of implementing a new digital archive of radiological
images, known as Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS),
that has made film a thing of the past, and in the process improved
both customer service and patient care.
According to S.
Ted Treves, MD, vice-chair of Radiology IT and chief
of Nuclear Medicine, the goal is to allow Children's staff to
share "any image, any time, any place" within the hospital network.
The system functions as a state-of-the-art repository for long-term
archiving of digital images, and includes the backup and bandwidth
to safeguard uninterrupted network availability.
The project has already:
Augmented the ability of clinicians to get informationÜand
act upon itÜmuch more quickly. Whether the brace shop at Children's
main campus, which makes prosthetics and orthotics, needs precise
measurements from an X-ray, or a neurologist at the South Shore
Hospital needs printouts of an MRI scan, the image is only a mouse-click
Improved patient care by allowing specialists at different
locations to access an image simultaneously.
Created a permanent, non-degradable archive that eliminates
the incidence of lost film.
| VR trims turnaround time
A second high-tech initiative in Children's Department of
Radiology, implemented hand-in-hand with PACS, is a new Voice
Recognition system. It has already proven its effectiveness
by reducing the average turnaround time for transcribed reports
from 72 hours to just four hours.
Direct access to the system is available throughout the hospital
and its satellites, as well as to external physicians who have
admitting privileges. The customer service benefits, however,
will affect all patients and referring providers by reducing wait
times for images and reports.
Children's is not the first to adopt a PAC system, since many
comparable institutions have a similar system in place. But Dr.
Treves believes Children's adopted PACS at a crucial point for
the technology. "We were able to learn from the experience of
institutions who took this road before us, while leapfrogging
their abilities technologically. The timing made it simpler for
us to implement PACS, allowed us to build a more modern infrastructure,
and allowed us to extend the system to any conventional PC on