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Impact of PACS-EMR Integration on Radiologist Usage of the EMR


The purpose of this study was to objectively quantify the impact of implementing picture archiving and communication system-electronic medical record (PACS-EMR) integration on the time required to access data in the EMR and the frequency with which data are accessed by radiologists. Time to access a clinic note in the EMR was measured before and after integration with a stopwatch and compared by t test. An IRB-approved, HIPAA-compliant retrospective review of EMR access data from security audit logs was conducted for a 14-month period spanning the integration. Correlation of these data with report signatures identified the studies in which the radiologist accessed the EMR to obtain additional clinical data. Proportions of studies with EMR access were plotted and compared before and after integration using a chi-square test. Time to access the EMR decreased from 52 to 6 s (p < 0.001). Proportion of studies with EMR access increased from 36.7% (10,175/27,773) to 44.9% (10,843/24,153) after integration (p < 0.001). Integrating PACS and the EMR substantially decreases the time to access the EMR and is associated with a significant increase in the proportion of studies for which radiologists obtain additional clinical data.

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Correspondence to John Mongan.

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This HIPAA-compliant retrospective study was approved by the local Institutional Review Board.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Mongan, J., Avrin, D. Impact of PACS-EMR Integration on Radiologist Usage of the EMR. J Digit Imaging 31, 611–614 (2018).

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