Can You Burn CDs and DVDs from a Cloud PACS?

Posted by Phil Jackson on Feb 7, 2017 3:37:01 PM


First off, burning CDs and DVDs is not an optimal way to go about handling medical imaging studies for a variety of reasons, ranging from security concerns to overall efficiency. That said, sometimes circumstances dictate that CDs or DVDs are needed and your picture archive and communications system (PACS) should be able to accommodate.

Whether it's due to someone's personal preference or their lack of technological know-how, some patients simply prefer to have a physical disc containing their medical images rather than electronic access. While CD-ROMs and DVD drives are becoming a thing of the past, you will likely need to find some way to appease your less technologically progressive patients until you are able to wean them off of CDs and DVDs.

Before answering whether you can burn CDs and DVDs with a cloud PACS, you might want to first consider if you are asking the right question in the first place, and here's why...

What's Wrong With Burning?

Before we unpack how you should be addressing this issue, first let's discuss why CDs and DVDs are not the most efficient option within the context of medical imaging.

Using a CD or DVD to transfer and view medical records is problematic for a few reasons. For one, the records that come on a disc are often cumbersome for a doctor to extract and integrate with his own electronic health records (EHR) system. In addition, these records often come coupled with an image viewer that may or may not not be compatible with the referring physician's system. Also, some data-rich studies, such as digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) images, may be larger than can fit on a single CD or DVD.

Additionally, there is always a possibility that a CD or DVD could be damaged, lost or stolen. Misplacing a CD means that not only do you lose a copy of that record, you also risk exposure of a patient's protected health information (PHI), increasing the probability that regulatory compliance issues may arise.

That said, it is absolutely possible to burn CDs and DVDs from a cloud PACS. Purview ViVA, for instance, has a seamless integration built into its platform that enables quick and easy CD and DVD burning. The bigger point to consider, however, is that just because you can burn CDs and DVDs doesn't mean you should in all cases.

What Should You Be Doing Instead?

With the potential issues surrounding burning CDs and DVDs in mind, we recommend that you begin shifting your thinking away from whether or not you can burn CDs or DVDs with a cloud-based PACS and instead consider more innovative ways of enabling medical image sharing with your patients. After all, when you're using a cutting-edge technology solution, such as a cloud PACS, there is no reason to limit yourself to yesterday's solutions like burning CDs or DVDs.

Instead, look at how you can share your images entirely in the cloud. Cloud image sharing has several advantages. Your records remain secure, with bank-grade encryption, and are easily transferable among the physicians to whom you grant access. Additionally, you can't "lose the cloud" like you can lose a CD, and your images are available anytime, anywhere without the need to carry around clunky discs.

If you choose the right cloud vendor to support your imaging, their viewer should be world-class and able to meet the needs and expectations of your clinical end users: your referring physicians.

While we understand that there will always be technological laggards who might still require CDs and DVDs, we believe you will find that today's patient, in general, will welcome electronic access to their medical imaging studies with open arms.

Final Thought

Ultimately, moving to an advanced cloud platform opens up many doors when it comes to sharing medical images with patients and referring physicians. While you will still be able to burn CDs and DVDs when you need to, electronic patient access speeds up the transfer of information and ensures that your patient studies are always available and secure.

While CDs and DVDs might be a good stopgap solution for patients who desire them, in the end, they're an imperfect and inefficient way of sharing health records. That said, if you find yourself having to burn lots of CDs for your patients, consider systems that provide automation. For example, Purview ViVA's cloud platform integrates with Purview Publisher, a fully-functional Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) CD and DVD burner with branding customization options for clinical practices.

Regardless of the solution you choose, the most important thing you can do is to continually look beyond CDs and DVDs, and toward the future. Learn how your patients want to obtain their data, then explore how you can facilitate this in a more efficient and secure manner.


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