Having a system to easily share medical imaging exams from one facility to another can substantially lower the number of repeat procedures, according to a recent study in The Journal of Roentgenology.The study looked at 267 patients at the University of California at San Francisco who had undergone an MRI or CT at the same or another institution.
When outside images were not available 72% of patients underwent repeat imaging exams. When outside images were imported to the institution’s Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) repeat exams were performed for just 11% of patients.
Repeat imaging exams have been shown in numerous studies to be a significant cost to the health care system. PACS vendors have responded with new software and cloud-based solutions that make sharing images easier.
By one estimate, the PACS market may double by 2017.