The PACS acquired by Kaleida Health Care System in Buffalo, NY, is now almost fully deployed in the five hospitals comprising the organization, says Francis J. Meyer, vice president and chief information officer.

Once the system goes operational in April, it will receive images from all of the enterprise’s digital modalities, he adds.

“CT, MR, and ultrasound will go directly into PACS, while plain film x-ray will be converted to CR,” he says.

Each hospital is outfitted with up to five Windows 2000-based radiology workstations employing 3MP monitors with as many as four screens apiece. Moreover, each hospital will have review stations for the technologists’ use along with one workstation in each key department, such as emergency and intensive care, Meyer reveals.

“Also, all ancillary sites of the hospitals will have secure, password-protected Internet hookup to permit access by all physicians with an affiliation with Kaleida or who admit or refer patients to us,” he says.

As for image storage, the PACS has the capacity to hold two terabytes’ worth of examinations on-sitemore than enough to accommodate all images under 6 months of age. Images older than that are stored off-site on a 10-terabyte archive, Meyer says.

Most of the archive servers are located at Buffalo General Hospital, the largest of the five facilities.

Traffic along the enterprise infrastructure is expected to be brisk. According to Kenneth D. Pearsen, MD, chief of radiology service for Kaleida and chief of the radiology department at Buffalo General, PACS-borne imaging volume should reach 350,000 examinations a year.

“Our original plan was to get Buffalo General up and running on PACS within 90 days of the deal being signed with the vendor,” Pearsen says. “This we accomplished on schedule. As we then developed the model for this, we’ve simultaneously started the rollouts at the other four hospitals. These will all be completed by the end of March. A month later, Kaleida will be able to claim it is completely filmless, except for mammography and for copies of images requested on film by referring physicians with a preference for hard-copy viewing.” n

Rich Smith is a contributing writer for Decisions in Axis Imaging News.