Saving money for a rainy day is not as easy as it sounds, and sometimes we make a very big mistake along the way. You know exactly which one I’m talking about – that mistake where you don’t take the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) into account. Total Cost of Ownership goes beyond the initial fee to consider the full cost of a product over its life. For example, let’s say you live in a city and come to the realization that your rent would be the same cost as a mortgage. You purchase a modest home in the suburbs but don’t factor in your transportation costs, home upkeep and maintenance, and property taxes. Oops – turns out, your total cost of home ownership was much higher than expected.
The same principle is true in the world of medical imaging. The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight that whether you are a small practice, large hospital enterprise, or clinical research facility, total cost of ownership is a factor you must take into account when determining whether a traditional PACS or Cloud PACS is best for you.
So what’s the difference between a traditional onsite PACS versus a Cloud PACS?
A traditional PACS system uses hardware and software onsite to lock imaging data inside of the system. Although the onsite location is convenient, it must be noted that the full responsibility of maintaining and operating the PACS belongs to the facility where it is located. The facility also remains responsible for implementing HIPAA compliant security and disaster recovery features. In fact, many states require that images be kept in storage for a specific length of time, requiring facilities to purchase additional data center space. Because the facility has total ownership and control of the system, IT staff must also be hired to monitor, update, and maintain the system. In smaller facilities, providers and staff may have to take on IT related duties as well.
A Cloud PACS solution uses a vendor off site to digitally store images – images are automatically streamed into the Cloud. Additionally, users with the appropriate login credentials can access this data anytime and anywhere. The Cloud PACS vendor takes ownership of managing the security settings through an encryption technology and provides an automated storage and disaster recovery program. Let’s take a look at who is responsible for key stress points and costs within these systems.