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Management and Its Advantages, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1051

Essay

As healthcare continues to embrace and pave the way for technological innovation, healthcare institutions are increasingly searching technologically savvy managers. One of the most important management positions in the modern day healthcare facility is that of a Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) manager. Owing to the relatively new nature of PACS, skilled PACS managers are somewhat difficult to come by, necessitating the search and for one with a diverse background and wide ranging expertise to successful handle and execute their functions adequately. Owing to the fat that this job is relatively new, the job descriptions for this position vary greatly from one healthcare institution to another. However, there are common job responsibilities that are the same across the board.

Job Responsibilities

Initially, at the inception of PACS, most PACS managers were perceived as part of the technical support team who managed and took care of system problems. However, this is rapidly changing as PACS administrators are expected to coordinate and execute composite sets of functions so as to realize successful imaging informatics. The modern-day PACS administrator is expected to be well versed in two major disciplines; (1) clinical healthcare, and (2) information technology (Barnsetter). A well versed PACS administrator is fluent in technical network communication, while understanding and incorporating the diagnostic process employed by radiologists. These roles usually extend into workflow engineering, system architecture and business analysis.

PACS Administrator Job Description

  • A PACS administrator is responsible for the day-to-day management, maintenance and troubleshooting of operations pertaining to a Picture Archiving and Communications System.
  • End-user training
  • Manages maintenance, testing, upgrading and installation of equipment and systems
  • Manages, designs and redesigns workflow
  • Liaises with the radiology department and the medical institutions clients
  • Upholds positive relationships with the vendors and physicians
  • Develops policies and guidelines governing the PACS(Barnsetter)

PACS Administrator Job Qualifications and Requirements

  • Requires a bachelor’s degree, certification with ARRT (American Registry of Radiological Technologists)
  • Requires 5 years of experience is a related field
  • Familiarity with a number of concepts, procedures and practices in the field of radiology
  • Extensive experience and judgment employed to plan and realize goals
  • Has to be creative and autonomous in thinking.(Barnsetter)

The Advantages of PACS

Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) would have been a very expensive and highly complex technique of replacing the conventional x-ray film. However, there are numerous underlying advantages to using PACS in handling electronic data.

Security

Many hospital report that up to 20% of films are misplaced or cannot be found when most required, creating numerous practical problems of utmost significance (Strickland). PACS ensures that all images acquired within the system are not lost, stolen or misfiled. As a result, PACS enables reduction in deferring clinical decision, cancellation of patient appointments and time wasted in the search for missing films. This places vital patient information at the disposal of any nurse and/or doctor responsible for patient care during the day or night.

Multiplication and Remote Viewing

With the aid of numerous PACS terminals that are installed in a medical institution, different medical practitioners and/or nurses can view an image simultaneously (Tong and Wong). This is quite convenient considering that the conventional film can only be used once at a time. This feature of PACS allows from different medical practitioners to discuss a given patient’s image without having to leave the comfort of their respective departments or office. This feature also allows for efficiency as doctors would have a patient’s image as soon as the image is taken. This allows the doctor time to analyze the images before the patient leaves the radiology room to the doctor’s office. The remote viewing feature is quite useful when applied to facilities located in different sites or geographic locations.

Data Organization

The PACS database system has been developed and designed to automatically group images into chronological order, group in the correct examination, correctly label and orient data in a manner that retrieval is simplified (Barnsetter). This can be achieved through the application of specific data criteria such as name, referring clinician, date, hospital number etc. owing to the fact that a patients imaging studies are readily available on the PACS, the review of examination is considerably encouraged while drawing comparisons to prior studies. Furthermore, the use of digital imaging with proper data organization eliminates the problem of having duplicate images of the same scan.

Data Manipulation Using Computer Tools

The PACS system avails to its user’s soft copies of images on monitors as opposed to hard copies on film (Huang). This allows for the application of computer image manipulation tools so as to post-process images as desired. A salient example would be the alteration of the level and width of contrast to as to expose bony structures as well as soft tissues. A hard copy of the chest radiograph does not allow for the assessment of the left lower lobe behind the cardiac silhouette. However, a soft copy chest radiograph allows for the assessment of this information, increasing the amount of information a practitioner can obtain from a single image. This feature of the PACS is as a result of the photostimulable phosphor plate acquisition device which acquired images from the PACS in digital format (Strickland). Photostimulable phosphor plates offers a better dynamic range when compared to the conventional screen-film combination. This generally improves the simultaneous visualization of widely radio density structures.

Economical

The PACS is widely regarded as a more economical technique of imaging as it eliminated expenditure on film processing chemical, film packets, film, film filing clerks and darkroom staff. However, the elimination of expenditure incurred in hiring darkroom staff is countered by the need to employ higher paid computer technician and IT managers. However, they are usually fewer compared to the darkroom staff employed. It is important to note that the economic advantage of the PACS is analyzed relative to the cost of conventional radiology (Carter and Vealé). Increased data management is arguably the most important economic aspect of the PACS.

Works Cited

Barnsetter, Barton F. Practical Imaging Informatics : Foundations and Applications for PACS Professionals. New York: Springer, 2010. Print.

Carter, Christi E and Beth L Vealé. Digital radiography and PACS. 2nd. Maryland Heights: Elsevier/Mosby, 2014. Print.

Huang, H K. PACS and imaging informatics : basic principles and applications. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

Strickland, N. “PACS (picture archiving and communication systems): filmless radiology.” Archive of Diseases in Childhood 83.1 (2000): 82-86. 14 March 2015. <http://adc.bmj.com/content/83/1/82.full>.

Tong, Carrison K and Eric T Wong. Governance of picture archiving and communications systems : data security and quality management of filmless radiology. Hershey: Medical Information Science Reference, 2009.

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