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Br J Radiol. 1999 May;72(857):469-78.

The benefits of hospital-wide picture archiving and communication systems: a survey of clinical users of radiology services.

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  • 1Health Economics Research Group, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK.


This paper describes one element of a broad evaluation of a hospital-wide picture archiving and communication system (PACS): an assessment of the views of users of the radiology service, their major causes of dissatisfaction with the service, the incidence of image unavailability, and the consequences of images being unavailable. The principal research design was a "before and after" comparison at Hammersmith Hospital, as the hospital site introducing PACS. Several other hospitals were included in this survey, for comparison. Questionnaires were distributed several times before PACS was operational at Hammersmith, and on one occasion after. The overall response rate was 54%. The main pre-PACS radiology-related problem areas were: the non-availability of images, the non-availability of written reports when clinically required, and the time devoted by junior staff to image searching. PACS greatly reduced the perceived problem of image non-availability. But Hammersmith's problems with the availability of radiological reports still remained when PACS was operational. The time junior doctors spent in image-searching was dramatically reduced by the introduction of PACS.

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