Sunday, August 21, 2005

Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS)

An interesting article about digital radiography, from the Gainsville Times, excerpted below:

"Film is a thing of the past at hospital"

The lighted box that doctors use to view X-rays fast is becoming a museum piece.

A growing number of hospitals are ditching film and converting to a computerized system for storing images.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center made the switch this spring, spending more than $11 million to implement its Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS).

The new technology, which includes X-ray, MRI, CT scans and cardiac imaging, was introduced at the Lanier Park campus in March, followed by the Imaging Center in April and the main campus in May.

David Kimball, chief of radiology at the hospital, said he and his colleagues are enthusiastic about the change.

"A lot of us used this type of system when we were in training, but it's still found mostly at the academic hospitals," he said. "This technology can improve the accuracy of diagnosis, because you can manipulate the image any way you want.

"And reading off a computer makes things so much faster," he said. "You always have quick access to images. You don't have to go hunting for them."

Bulky film images created two major problems: getting them from one place to another and finding someplace to put them.


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