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The challenge of PACS in a small hospital

The challenge of PACS in a small hospital

Radiology Management 21(4): 23

Memorial Hospital is located in-North Conway, New Hampshire. Year round, the 35-bed hospital serves mainly tourists and retirees to the area. The imaging department wanted to integrate its services within an existing community network, meet the needs of a transient population and resolve staff utilization and storage problems. Conversion from film to digital in the radiology department took advantage of digital x-ray and PACS. Since the hospital was already using digital technology for CT, MR, ultrasound and fluoroscopy, it made sense to include plain film imaging in the digitization process Memorial Hospital faced a number of challenges. Those in decision-making positions lacked a general knowledge about PACS, and, in particular, about PACS in similarly sized facilities. The hospital also lacked experience working with vendors. A timeline was critical as Memorial Hospital prepared for winter, its busiest season. The facility decided on a phased-in project with no immediate HIS/RIS interface, and computerized radiography with hard-copy films was implemented immediately. The facility has made the transition from a conventional imaging department to a PACS environment. It attributes its success to the way it involved those who would be affected by any future changes in the planning and decision-making processes. Memorial Hospital expects to expand its services and streamline its archival capabilities in the near future.

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Accession: 047590576

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PMID: 10558030

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