Feature | January 27, 2010| Dave Fornell

Cardio PACS Not Just for Pictures Anymore

Several vendors explained recent trends in cardiac PACS during the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting Nov. 29 – Dec. 3 in Chicago. Industry experts from Siemens, Infinitt, McKesson, Agfa, Visage, Thinking Systems, Brit, Fuji/ProSolv, Carestream, and ScImage all agreed on the following points:

More Than Pictures

“People will still say ‘I want a cardio PACS,’ but what they really want is the whole package,” said Robert Baumgartner, RN, product marketing director for McKesson’s medical imaging group.

Vendors say it is no longer good enough to just store and retrieve an image. As cardiac PACS evolve, the lines are increasingly blurred for what were previously self-contained IT systems for imaging, advanced visualization, cardiac image reports, echo image management, ECG management, inventory control, billing, and cath lab and hemodynamic reporting.

Vendors said new integrations in 2010 will include inventory control systems, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and cardiac department scheduling.

“The trend is definitely moving toward a single solution, consolidated PACS,” said Lisa Braunreuther, global business manager, Agfa cardiology IT. She said the goal is to take isolated islands of information scattered between various software systems and consolidate it into one place.

“I see a lot of confusion in the cardio space,” said Chris Carr, marketing manager for ScImage. “There are separate systems for electrophysiology, cath lab, ECG, imaging, and vascular, and all these specialties are starting to see there is a benefit to consolidating their PACS and reporting systems.”

Cardio PACS are bridging the gap between these specialties and separate imaging and diagnostic modalities. “Cardiology is putting its people under a PACS administrator,” said Karen Boltich, RTR, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, senior cardiovascular product line manager for Fujifilm Medical Systems USA.

Workflow Efficiency

Improvements to increase efficiency are a key trend, Baumgartner said. Structured reporting can help auto complete final reports. Structured reports also allow data to be mined for clinical information used for registries or comparative effectiveness studies. He said these time-saving features are part of the physician “buy-in” for these systems.

Vendors are also improving efficiency by offering more customized report templates and how images are displayed, sometimes down to individual user preferences.

Connectivity

Vendors say connectivity is rapidly becoming the No. 1 end-user request – they want to be able to network the software and devices they prefer. This is easier said than done, and it is not enough to simply have HL7 or DICOM based systems. Several PACS vendors said they are working closely with industry partners to increase interoperability with “vendor-neutral” and “open-architecture” systems. They are also partnering to take advantage of best-of-breed software for advanced visualization and cath lab analysis modules.

Remote Access

Many cardio PACS are now offered as Web-based solutions that can be accessed anywhere without the use of dedicated workstations. Since many cardiologists work with multiple hospitals or have separate office locations, they want remote access to DICOM images, Braunreuther said. They don’t want reference images, they want full, high-resolution images and the ability to complete and file full reports, she said.

New features being rolled out include DICOM file sharing that can be e-mailed directly to a referring physicians, instead of overnighting hard copies or CDs. New viewers also allow PACS images to be launched directly from a patient’s EMR.

Related Content

News | Cardiac PACS| November 22, 2017
Lumedx Corp. will present the latest in cardiovascular (CV) imaging, data management and next-generation analytics...
Philips IntelliSpace cardiovascular information system (CVIS)

The Philips IntelliSpace is an example of the newer generation of cardiovascular information systems (CVIS) that can consolidate all cardiology department data sources into one location.

Feature | Cardiac PACS| October 04, 2017 | Dave Fornell
Consolidation of data in one location to improve efficiency and enable data analytics, as well as smooth integration
Medical Metrics Taps Digisonics Cardiovascular Information Systems for Clinical Trials
News | Cardiac PACS| October 03, 2017
October 3, 2017 – Medical Metrics, an experienced core laboratory for multi-center clinical trials, has implemented t
ScImage and Invia Partnership Announced
News | Cardiac PACS| September 19, 2017
ScImage Inc. and Invia Imaging Solutions recently announced formation of a joint partnership at the American Society of...
Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Healthcare cybersecurity concerns have increased dramatically as EMRs and medical devices become more digitally connected.

Feature | Cybersecurity| August 18, 2017 | Dave Fornell
August 17, 2017 — Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in healthcare as patient data, medical systems and impla
ScImage Awarded U.S. Government DIN-PACS IV Contract
News | PACS| August 16, 2017
ScImage Inc. was recently awarded a new DIN-PACS IV (Digital Imaging Network/Picture Archiving and Communications...
The Centricity Cardio Enterprise (CCE) Interactive Guide offers information on GE's cardiovascular information system (CVIS)
News | Cardiac PACS| July 28, 2017
July 28, 2017 — GE Healthcare has released the eight-page...
WVU Medicine Deploys Enterprise PACS from ScImage
News | Cardiac PACS| July 24, 2017
ScImage Inc. recently announced West Virginia University Health System has partnered with ScImage to utilize ScImage’s...
Innovative Cardiovascular Ultrasound Solutions Showcased at ASE 28th Annual Scientific Sessions
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 01, 2017
June 1, 2017 — More than 50 companies and organizations will display their latest products and services at the Americ
Memorial Hospital of Gulfport used a McKesson, Change Healthcare, cardiovascular information system (CVIS) to improve workflow efficiency

Memorial Hospital has increased efficiency using a single cardiovascular information management database. 

Case Study | Cardiac PACS| May 23, 2017
Located along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, Memorial Hospital at Gulfport is a nonprofit, 445-bed facility originally est
Overlay Init