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Radiol Manage. 2000 Sep-Oct;22(5):44-8.

Why PACS is no longer a four-letter word.


The real value of PACS is not realized until widespread adoption exists among physicians other than interpreting radiologists. Referring physicians at the office level, in the operating room and in other departments must be willing to embrace the reading of images on monitors. That takes time. The payoff for a PACS system is therefore not realized until sometime in the future. Given the huge up-front capital expenditure required of PACS solutions, it is no wonder that the decision has historically been a difficult one to make. Enter the application service provider (ASP). The marriage of the ASP model to PACS seems to be one of the true "killer apps" currently available in the healthcare technology space. An ASP can host and maintain the software inherent in PACS solutions. Images are centrally archived over the short-, medium-, and long-term timeframe, utilizing state-of-art data management facilities. Some ASPs also provide the necessary bandwidth to office sites and the small amount of hardware that is required onsite, such as viewing stations or monitors. Costs for Internet-based image management under the ASP model rely on a pay-as-you-go formula, which may include all software, support, required hardware and bandwidth as part of the service. There may be a minor up-front fee for installation. The ASP pricing model eliminates the huge gamble an organization takes on "big iron" PACS purchases. Those benefits rely on the first rule of finance: a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. PACS and ASPs were made for one another. Because the financial benefits of PACS are realized over time, the timing of cash flows is extremely important. Other benefits inherent in the ASP model such as scalability, diminished need for IT personnel, software version integrity and better pricing because of economies of scale are attractive also.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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