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by Dan Bowman
As the healthcare industry increasingly adopts new accountable care payment models, providers must determine the most cost-effective ways to deliver quality patient care. In the case of radiologists, that means improving communication with fellow doctors and cutting back on unnecessary imaging as reimbursement dollars will be handed out based, not on the volume of patient tests conducted, but the sustained good health of those patients.
To that end, the evolution of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) is crucial.
"PACS is good for many things; it's changed the way we practice and we're not going back to film, for sure," Reuben Mezrich, a professor and former chair of the department of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, tells FierceMedicalImaging. "But, it's incomplete because of the way it's evolved as a standalone system. It needs to be integrated far better into the hospital or clinical information systems, and there has to be an enormously improved means of communication between physicians and radiologists."
In this special report, you'll hear from Mezrich and two other radiologists--Jonathan Berlin, clinical professor of radiology, University of Chicago at NorthShore University Health System, and Matt Hawkins, a pediatric interventional radiologist and assistant professor in the department of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University in Atlanta--about the evolution of PACS going forward. They'll discuss the strengths and shortcomings of current systems, and share their thoughts on both anticipated short-term tweaks and longer-term changes with an eye on the shifting healthcare industry landscape
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