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PACS Used While On-Call: A National Survey of Radiology Program Directors and Chief Residents


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of different diagnostic image viewing platforms used by radiologists while on-call, and to assess the opinions and preferences of radiology program directors and chief residents regarding their use. An online survey was sent electronically to radiology residency program directors and chief residents via the Association of University Radiologists. Forty-two radiology program directors and 25 chief residents completed the survey, yielding response rates of 24.9 and 8.5 %, respectively. From the survey results, 10 different Picture Archiving Communications Systems (PACS) were identified; GE (25 %), Philips (17 %), and Agfa Impax (15 %) were the most prevalent. Interestingly, only 5 % of all respondents use a secondary "Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine" viewer for on-call studies. Perceptions of PACS functionality were generally neutral to weakly positive. Most respondents strongly agreed that it is important to have a single integrated PACS for viewing on-call studies and agreed that the PACS should be integrated into the Electronic Medical Records (EMR). The overwhelming majority of respondents use their institution's PACS while on-call. The results show there is still a wide variety of PACS platforms used by different institutions; however, GE, Phillips, and Agfa were some of the most prevalent. Most radiologists surveyed have neutral to slightly positive perceptions about the functionality and ease of use of their PACS. Finally, while radiologists agree that PACS should be integrated with EMR, only 53 % of respondents currently have this arrangement.

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