Cloud-based PACS offers significant cost savings, better collaboration, and faster diagnostics.
- Cloud-based PACS offers efficiency and availability not available with in-house storage
- Security fears can be laid to rest because cloud PACS systems use the HIPAA enforcement rule and Health-Level 7 (HL7) transmission protocols to ensure data encryption.
- Cloud-based PACS offer global accessibility, anytime, anywhere, on any device
- Patient diagnoses are faster due to the increased ease of collaboration
- Further benefits include scalability, reduced cost for staff and equipment, and a smaller carbon footprint.
Ready to join the 80% of healthcare IT senior managers who have embraced the advantages of a cloud-based Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS)?
PACS were designed to allow prompt and efficient image retrieval along with interpretations, and related data, breaking the physical and time barriers associated with traditional film-based image distribution and display. In addition, PACS can handle images from a variety of medical imaging tools that include ultrasound, MR, positron emission tomography, and CT.
Cloud-based PACS offer even more benefits, including the ability to access files anywhere, increased efficiency, reduced costs over an in-house system, and improved communication.
Let’s explore the components of cloud PACS, how it works, and why the cloud can be a better place to keep your PACS data than internal servers.
The 4 main components of a PACS
Whether it is in the cloud or in-house, a PACS has these components:
- Imaging modalities, such as CT or MRI
- A secure network conforming to HIPAA standards to transmit patient information
- Computer workstations available to physicians and radiologists for image view and study
- A secure archive area with limited access that stores images and related data
How a cloud-based PACS works
A PACS system uses both hardware and software. After acquiring an image from a CT, MRI, ultrasound, or other diagnostic tool, files are converted into DICOM, the international standard for medical images and their related data.
Unlike in-house server solutions, cloud-based PACS store all that data remotely in a secure location. This eliminates worries about storage capacity and local system failures while offering controlled access via passwords.
Cloud-based PACS make storage more convenient and economical by removing the need to file, retrieve or transport physical films, and offers many other benefits.
5 benefits of a cloud-based PACS
Any PACS system offers the advantages of saving time, space, consumables, personnel costs, and efficient data management. But having your PACS in the cloud offers additional advantages, including:
1. Self-service on-demand
Without disrupting host operations, authorized PACS users can access resources and scale up or down easily, without changes to software or hardware, as service demands increase or decrease. Administrative changes can be made, upgrades and updates can be installed remotely, and maintenance issues are reduced with a cloud-based PACS.
2. Access anytime, anywhere
Cloud-based PCS uses HIPAA-compliant, SSL encryption that ensures security while allowing physicians, technicians, and radiologists to access images and records from any location on any device, including desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. This results in 24/7 collaboration and reduced turnaround time for patient diagnoses.
3. Clinical benefits
For the practice and patients, cloud-based PACS offers faster and higher-quality reporting, reliability, and ease of use. Images are readily available, transmission to hospitals or physician’s offices is done in a flash, and old films for current patients can be digitized and securely stored.
Among the medical data that could be shifted to the cloud are pre-op and post-op images and information, general details about the patient, and any applicable research data. These are all protected by strict HIPPA security protocols in the cloud, which eliminates the worry of protecting internal storage.
4. Reduced expense
Because cloud PACS vendors pool resources such as storage, applications, processing, memory, and bandwidth, imaging practices are no longer completely responsible for their PACS data storage and technology. This removes the need to invest in on-site hardware, software, storage, and archiving solutions. In addition, the cloud PACS vendor assumes responsibility for data backup, disaster prevention, and disaster recovery.
Overall IT costs are reduced because technology management is outsourced, including savings in valuable square footage that can be utilized to provide more beds for more patients.
5. Smaller carbon footprint
By getting rid of on-site systems and the associated demands for production, running, and cooling them, energy demand decreases. So do the related carbon dioxide emissions, creating a greener environment and stance.
PACS is an essential tool to digitize, archive, and share images cost-effectively, and using a cloud-based PACS removes many of the challenges faced by in-house systems, including maintenance, accessibility, accuracy, reliability, and ultimate responsibility. Vendor-managed cloud services also eliminate big capital investments for equipment, maintenance, and data center staffing for impressive cost reductions.
DICOM Director, for secure, accessible cloud-based PACS
Cloud-based PACS means secure sharing on any device anywhere across the globe. You get scalable storage and enterprise-level archiving, all with a user-friendly interface.