Everyone who works at an image-intensive specialty practice has one thing in common: the need for on-demand access to diagnostic studies. Whether you’re an office administrator viewing a study burned onto a disc, a radiologist retrieving a prior from an archive, or a surgeon pulling up an exam in the OR, having the right image, at the right place and time is a business and clinical necessity.
Up until recently, when shopping the PACS vendor landscape, your options were limited. Traditional, on premises PACS dominated the marketplace, often carrying a high price tag and the need for physical IT space. Fortunately, the Cloud is gradually changing the equation for image management.
Perhaps you’ve heard the term “Cloud PACS”. A Cloud PACS shares many similarities with a traditional PACS. The main difference is that rather than the hardware being located and managed in your facility, everything is hosted off-site in a centrally managed data center.
Upon first reading, the differences between a Cloud PACS and a traditional PACS may seem simple. In one scenario, the data is hosted off-site and in the other, it is hosted in-house. But, that’s not the only differentiator. Another distinction is the software delivery model. Cloud PACS are provided as a “Software-as-a-Service”.
Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS for short, is a delivery model that has clear advantages for the private practice and makes a compelling case for the Cloud. A key benefit inherent in a SaaS model is shifting from a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure to reduce the upfront investment in hardware and software. Secondly, the SaaS approach offloads the management and maintenance of the physical IT infrastructure to your Cloud provider. Gone are the days of configuring networks and VPNs and managing hardware updates as it is your Cloud PACS provider’s job to ensure that everything is running in tip-top shape.
Subscribing to a secure Cloud solution for storing and sharing the huge data files involved in medical imaging can also provide additional functionality beyond the limitations of a traditional PACS – think easy image sharing, mobile viewing and affordable ways to store and backup data.
What’s the bottom line? Practices that handle high volumes of exams – from orthopedic and sports medicine institutes to women’s health and urgent care centers –are perfectly positioned to capitalize on this new advancement in digital imaging and catch the Cloud wave.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of our new eBook which covers all the details about Cloud PACS for the private practice.