Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS): A Pre-Post Comparative Analysis
Keywords:Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), Operational efficiency, RIS.
Background: A picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) is a computerised means of
acquiring, storing, transmitting and displaying images digitally. PACS is a standard component for radiology
Method: A comprehensive descriptive and observational study was undertaken at two tertiary care hospitals
from April 2012 to December 2012, the main hospital and an associated hospital. The main hospital had
the functional RIS and PACS while PACS was being installed in the associated hospital. So, the main
hospital represented Post-PACS scenario and the associated hospital represented Pre-PACS era. The data
was collected from the Radiology Information Systems and the PACS Servers. The historical data was
obtained from secondary sources. Simple random sampling was used to select cases for the calculation of
average waiting time and report TAT for examinations on different modalities.
Results: The findings showed improvement in the TAT following PACS implementation at Main Hospital. A
noteworthy improvement had been in the case of X-ray unit which had declined considerably from the peak
value of 6.8 days in the year 2006 to 2.2 days in the year 2011. In the case of USG, the TAT had reduced
and the reports were available on the same day with an average TAT of 0.5 days. In the case of CT, the TAT
reduced by more than 50% to 1 day on an average. In the case of MRI, the TAT reduced from 3 days in the
year 2004 to 2.4 days in the year 2011. On the other hand, the TAT in case of Associated Hospital was higher
in almost all the modalities.
Discussion and Conclusion: It may be concluded that the introduction of PACS in Main Hospital had paid
the dividends and the decision to install and implement the PACS in Associated Hospital was pragmatic one
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