Computer equipment being installed

Hospital Improves Imaging Communication Technology

The hospital is currently in the process of implementing a modern, sustainable Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) that provides cutting-edge clinical, teaching, and research imaging functions for clinicians, students, faculty, staff, referring veterinarians, and clients. The hospital’s current PACS is aging and does not allow clinicians to utilize it to the best of its abilities.

A new PACS will establish a single, authoritative archive and viewing interface of diagnostic imagery for hospital operations and research. Integration of a new PACS with the existing hospital medical records system will allow for improved internal sharing of patient, client, and visit details, as well as medical reporting, ordering and billing. The system will also allow for authorized image viewing and uploading by user populations beyond the hospital, including collaborative researchers, referring veterinarians, and clients via the Veterinary Hospital Information System client portal.

Drs. Erik Wisner and Allison Zwingenberger, along with others from the Diagnostic Imaging Service, and IT professionals have investigated the vast array of commercially-available PACS systems over the last three years. The team has also reviewed existing systems at other UC medical centers and explored potential future multi-institutional integration with UC Health.

Implementation of the new PACS system is a multi-phased project by the hospital’s IT team, and is set to go live in 2020.

Going forward, the PACS Steering Committee will continue to contribute a considerable amount of time into the project and will ultimately be responsible for the oversight of design changes, maintenance and effective use of the system. The Committee is charged with reviewing and prioritizing investments, enhancements, and maintenance of the PACS and integrated clinical systems, and has oversight of timelines and deliverables.

To help the system achieve its fullest potential to advance hospital operations, the committee will conduct semi-annual workshops that will include user feedback review, new risks and issues, storage consumption, configuration changes, staffing and training requirements, and policy/process changes. Kudos to IT Director Randy Anderson and his team for laying the groundwork for this ambitious goal to improve patient services.

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