A new bone density system and an upgrade to the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) was installed at Pines Road Family Medicine earlier this month. This is part of an transfer of all film-based X-rays at off-campus clinics to PACS by the Willis-Knighton Physician Network.
With this system allows the attending physician can view the images while the patient is at the clinic and begin appropriate treatment immediately. If the image shows complexity, the doctor can call the radiologist, and have him review the image simultaneously, since the digital image is also transmitted to the radiologist’s queue.
Through the PACS system, physicians now have the same capabilities to enlarge, isolate, rotate and compare X-ray images that previously only radiologists could afford to have. The reduction in prices for the PACS technology over the past several years has made the technology much more cost effective allow it to be delivered in off campus locations.
Patients now have access to high-end technology in their primary care physician’s office, allowing them to receive treatment earlier without having to travel to campus-based service centers. Physicians can start their treatment plans, usually during the same visit, and have more confidence in their diagnosis since the image is of a higher quality versus the old hardcopy films. Comparative images of before and after treatment is available at the physician’s fingertips by just placing the images side-by-side on the digital monitor. Previously, the physician would have to request the old images. Storage is no longer a problem since digital images can be kept indefinitely and for a mere fraction of the costs that hard copy films require.