In this day and age of advanced technology, physicians have access to abundant clinical information at their fingertips. Electronic medical record (EMR) systems can provide physicians with the data they need to care for their patients at virtually any time or place (whether or not these systems are user-friendly is another story). A radiology Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) is no different. A PACS provides two important streams of radiology information to physicians: images and reports.
In the past few years, Vulcan Imaging Associates (VIA) has partnered with Huntsville-based FINAO Solutions to provide a next-level radiology PACS platform (Intelerad) for its partner hospitals, imaging centers, and physician offices. This platform offers many advantages over other systems that are found in the Birmingham market. The two most important value-added features are the VIA network and the Intelerad distribution platform.
By creating a radiology network that gathers imaging studies from across multiple hospitals, imaging centers, and offices, VIA radiologists are able to view and compare studies that would otherwise be unavailable. This access to prior imaging studies from multiple locations allows the radiologists to create more accurate reports with increased confidence. This access also has the potential to decrease unnecessary imaging through a decreased need to repeat imaging studies performed at another institution as well a decreased need to perform follow-up studies.
This next-level PACS platform also allows for easier distribution of images and reports in an easy-to-use format. Referring physicians are set up with a secure, HIPAA-compliant, login that allows them to review the imaging studies and reports on their patients through a portal that is available on any desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Dean Thornton, MD practices radiology with Vulcan Imaging Associates and serves as Chief of Radiology at St. Vincent’s Birmingham.
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