Mark Smith, CEO

For most health care enterprises, the usual reason for installing a picture archiving and communications system (PACS) has been the efficiency gains that the technology delivers. At eMed, however, we believe that PACS brings greater value than improved efficiency alone. We are finding that, as these systems become more sophisticated and experience with them increases, perhaps the ultimate reason for acquiring a PACS is the superior clinical care associated with PACS-enabled imaging. Today, the utilization of imaging procedures by referring physicians is growing, and investments in new digital modalities continue, even in the small enterprise. In this new environment, PACS is no longer a luxury afforded only by large facilities with big budgets. As a result, most imaging facilities are shifting their PACS purchase justification from an emphasis on whether they can afford to implement PACS to an investigation of whether they can afford not to do so.

Better care in a PACS-enabled environment can only be achieved by bringing PACS to a higher levelbeyond efficiency. eMed is committed to elevating the benefits of PACS by delivering complete business solutions that improve processes at every point of patient care. To this end, there are key elements that cannot be taken lightly. Seamless radiology information system (RIS) integration must be achieved to bring patients’ clinical information and images together; multisite work flow needs to be collaborative, in a synchronized system; web-based results distribution must address the needs of referring physicians; and burgeoning imaging volume needs to be addressed with an affordable, truly scalable technology that is immune to obsolescence.

In this supplement, we will look at these critical aspects of a successful PACS. We will explore how PACS can facilitate patient care, and we will cover the key areas that must be addressed to achieve this goalincluding the elements of successful RIS-PACS integration, multisite radiologist work flow, long-term costs of archiving, and driving referring physicians’ adoption of web technology. As always, eMed is pleased to sponsor the publication of ideas from industry experts and its own customers to help readers take advantage of the opportunity that advanced technology represents.

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman eMed Technologies, Lexington, MA