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Economic Benefits of PACS: The Full Guide
Economic Benefits of PACS: The Full Guide

By Theo Vouniseas | Financial Controller, UltraLinQ Inc

Benefits Of PACS: Your Guide To Enhanced Workflows and Cost Savings With Cloud PACS

If you’re looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency in your healthcare facility, implementing a secure and robust cloud PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) may be the solution you need. Adding a HIPAA compliant, cloud-based system provides several advantages, including cost-effective data storage, reduced IT infrastructure and staffing costs, and improved accessibility to patient data.

In this blog, we’ll explore how cloud PACS solutions can help healthcare providers substantially reduce costs and enhance patient care. We will highlight some of the key ways our cutting-edge technology can help your facility save money while accelerating patient diagnosis.

Why Is Cloud PACS Essential For Modern Healthcare Services?

Cloud PACs offer significant cost savings due to reduced need for hardware, server space, and ongoing maintenance compared to traditional PACS. Between 2017 and 2019, median hospital operating margins were between -1% and -2%. Small and private clinics operate with similar expectations but can be slightly more profitable because of less overhead, increased specialization, and more efficient workflow.

Healthcare systems in general are shifting towards cloud-based infrastructures. Beyond cost scalability, cloud-based systems mitigate physical risks associated with on-premises server failure (due to fire, sabotage, or natural disasters) and grow continually “smarter” and more efficient as machine learning becomes more integrated and accessible.

Which are the main benefits of PACS?

Better Patients Care and Outcomes

Streamlined practitioner collaboration plays a direct role in diagnosis in treatment time. For practically any medical condition, early diagnosis and intervention is a crucial element in ensuring positive outcomes. By allowing doctors, staff, and administrators to access and share detailed case images with ease, Cloud PACS can reduce time from intake to diagnosis, and from diagnosis to treatment.

Once a patient has entered treatment, these technical advantages help practitioners streamline ongoing monitoring and maintenance of a patient’s condition. Medical staff can pull and compare patient images quickly and intuitively, trading chair time for care time.

Advantages For Radiologists, Cardiologists, and Other Healthcare Professionals

Cloud PACS allows healthcare providers to share and access images in real-time within and across practices, strengthening collaborative care. Traditional image sharing often occurs across disparate systems, creating technical bottlenecks, errors, or other time-consuming. Having a single “source of truth” – and storage location – for case images makes it easier for all stakeholders to access the same images, speak the same “language,” and speed up collaborative care.

Cloud PACS systems are highly standardized, streamlined, and intuitive, importing and exporting images from a diverse range of information and diagnostic devices. Accordingly, using Cloud PACS as the central location for image storage saves considerable time, reducing or eliminating the need to work in different systems at different times.

Cloud-based PACS tools provide instant access to patient data, enabling healthcare providers to diagnose and treat patients quickly all while streamlining workflow and increasing efficiency. This can lead to better patient outcomes, reducing the need for repeat appointments, tests, and procedures, thereby saving costs for both the patient and the healthcare provider.

Cost-Effectiveness

  • Reduced Hardware Costs: Cloud PACS eliminates the need for expensive hardware, such as dedicated servers and storage equipment, by storing all medical images and patient data on secure HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based servers.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs: When using a cloud based PACS system, consider one that includes maintenance and upgrades in a one-time licence. This gives hospitals and clinics an opportunity to be less reliant on the availability of dedicated IT staff or outsourcing IT maintenance. When a cloud PACS system offers their own customer support, the hospitals and clinics have flexibility and a quick turnaround time with any troubleshooting issues.
  • Reduced IT Infrastructure Costs: With cloud based PACS, there is no need to invest in complex IT infrastructure, including network infrastructure, data storage, and data security. This eliminates the need for hospitals and clinics to make large capital investments in IT infrastructure.
  • Cost-Effective Data Storage: Taking advantage of a provider’s scalable storage solutions enables healthcare providers to store unlimited data without worrying about space constraints or additional data storage costs.
  • Reduced Admin and Logistics Costs: Cloud-based PACS can automate several tasks, reducing the need for administrative costs required to manually manage data and maintain the system. This includes physical storage of CDs, couriering back and forth CDs and files to doctors, and keeping manual records of performed procedures by clinical teams.
  • All-Inclusive and Transparent Pricing: Finding a cloud-based PACS provider that offers flexible options, all-inclusive licensing fees, and payment options can help healthcare providers budget accordingly and avoid hidden fees.

Security and Data Management

Cloud PACS provides world-class data security, protecting privileged patient information and ensuring adherence to core privacy mandates, such as HIPAA. These security systems learn and grow over time, effectively countering threats that isolated systems can’t.

Having a single source of truth for case images, as well as their corresponding markup, is important for long-term record keeping and data management. Cloud systems simplify version control, keeping a detailed log of user changes over time.

Why PACS is essential for modern healthcare services?

Ultimately, a digital-first approach promotes a seamless flow of information, aiding in prompt decision-making. Medical imaging viewers allow colleagues to quickly and securely share images for consultation or with patients to help them understand their health state and conditions. Storage and utilization can be scaled quickly and appropriately to needs, and in general, taking a digital-first approach offers practices a higher degree of control, including control over margins, utilization, and collaboration.

Book a demo with UltraLinQ today and learn more about how UltraLinQ’s cloud-based PACS solutions can elevate your medical practice today!

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