The ability to manage medical imaging studies effectively and efficiently is critical to the success of any practice. Physicians rely on the accuracy of studies, as well as the information that accompanies them, to provide the right diagnoses and treatments to their patients. However, if you find that your clinical staff has challenges securely managing image studies and associated protected health information (PHI), your clinic could find itself addressing regulatory issues, an area of liability you want to avoid as much as possible.
For these reasons it's imperative to choose a cloud PACS vendor that makes it easy for you to manage your medical imaging studies once they have been uploaded into the cloud.
What Your Cloud PACS Should Offer
Every cloud PACS provider should make it easy for its customers to manage their medical imaging data. The following are some key features we believe should be included in any cloud-based PACS offering to improve self-sufficiency. Without these characteristics, managing your studies can be very difficult, which can lead to significant administrative hurdles down the road.
1. Ability to Delete Studies
If you accidentally send a study, or series of studies, to the cloud, you should have a way within your cloud PACS to immediately delete the information to rectify the situation. Not only does this ensure the accuracy of a patient record, it also keeps confidential records from being shared erroneously and inappropriately.
In short, your cloud PACS should offer you the capability to easily reverse an error, such as sending the wrong information to the cloud.
2. Edit Function for Patient Information
It should be possible to modify a patient’s name, date of birth or case details after you’ve sent an imaging study to the cloud. These details are often entered incorrectly, due to human error, which can present complications in matching up medical imaging studies with other parts of a patient’s health record.
The easier your cloud provider can make it for you and your clinicians to modify this kind of information, the less time your clinical staff will waste trying to resolve mistakes.
3. Integration with EHR System
The best cloud-based PACS solutions link with electronic health record (EHR) systems and support automatic updates of patient demographic details. For example, when one of your patients changes his or her last name following a marriage, your system should be able to receive a feed from your EHR system with the updated information.
Having this kind of seamless integration in place ensures that the data in the two systems is always correct and consistent.
4. Support Assistance
The administration of your PACS can quickly become a full-time job, particularly if your practice or clinic is very large and produces a significant volume of medical imaging studies. To ensure ease-of-use, ask your vendor before purchasing a cloud PACS what self-service administrative features exist within their product. If sufficient self-service features do not exist, be sure that your cloud vendor offers exceptional technical support to help customers with such things as making edits and deletions from their records stored in the cloud.
For comparison, Purview provides both a self-service administrative portal within its cloud PACS, as well as "white glove" technical support for customers, allowing them to spend less time on PACS administration and more time focusing on providing quality patient care.
Managing your imaging studies shouldn’t be an arduous process. Unfortunately, some PACS vendors make it difficult for you to manage your studies once they have been uploaded to the cloud. When choosing a provider, it always pays to ask about the self-service features the vendor offers.
By choosing to partner with a vendor that makes editing, deleting and managing your medical imaging records as easy as possible, your PACS administration doesn’t have to become a burden for your facility.