A IHE-Like Approach Method for Quantitative Analysis of PACS Usage

Abstract

Today, many hospitals have a running enterprise picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and their administrators should have the tools to measure the system activity and, in particular, how much it is used. The information would be valuable for decision-makers to address asset management and the development of policies for its correct utilization and eventually start training initiatives to get the best in resource utilization and operators’ satisfaction. On the economic side, a quantitative method to measure the usage of the workstations would be desirable to better redistribute existing resources and plan the purchase of new ones. The paper exploits in an unconventional way the potential of the IHE Audit Trail and Node Authentication (ATNA) profile: it uses the data generated in order to safeguard the security of patient data and to retrieve information about the workload of each PACS workstation. The method uses the traces recorded, according to the profile, for each access to image data and to calculate how much each station is used. The results, constituted by measures of the frequency of PACS station usage suitably classified and presented according to a convenient format for decision-makers, are encouraging. In the time of the spending review, the careful management of available resources is the top priority for a healthcare organization. Thanks to our work, a common medium such as the ATNA profile appears a very useful resource for purposes other than those for which it was born. This avoids additional investments in management tools and allows optimization of resources at no cost.

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Correspondence to Raffaele Calabrese.

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Calabrese, R., Beltrame, M. & Accardo, A. A IHE-Like Approach Method for Quantitative Analysis of PACS Usage. J Digit Imaging 29, 658–664 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10278-016-9870-4

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Keywords

  • PACS
  • PACS administration
  • Cost savings
  • Hospital information systems (HIS)