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  How continuous PACS system monitoring enhances the radiology workflow?

The radiology departments of the medical facilities are now energized using high end PACS technology. Radiologists are the arms but PACS system is the backbone. With the continuous innovation in the healthcare arena, the complexity of the PACS system is also increasing.

The PACS architecture needs continuous supervision so as to keep the radiology processes flowing in seamless manner. Since the whole PACS system is dependent on a network ecosystem; any imbalance in the ecosystem can create hindrance in the proper functioning of the system.

How it works?
The key is to identify the network issues before it shows its disastrous effects. Monitoring the PACS network using a comprehensive monitoring tool like e365Monitor will let you know each and every network parameter relating to the PACS system from a centralized viewing location.

A PACS system generally consists of a central PACS server, several PACS clients/ workstations and various network distribution elements such as routers. Monitoring each and every component of the PACS infrastructure is crucial to get the required information about the ins and outs of the system.

The monitoring system should keep an eye on every fundamental component of the PACS system starting from the hardware platforms to the software systems.

Radiological images in the DICOM format are stored in the central PACS server and PACS clients’ retrieve these images from the server through the DICOM network protocol. Through the DICOM viewer and reporting software installed in the client side, radiologists prepare comprehensive diagnostic reports by viewing the images and send them back to the central server.

How a monitoring tool helps?
A slow performance in the retrieval of DICOM images can severely affect the reporting time and thus can defeat the purpose of the PACS system. When you have invested a good amount in installing the whole PACS infrastructure, investing a bit more in a PACS network monitoring solution will give you the best possible outcome in terms of streamlined radiology workflow.

A medical entity using a PACS system often encounters increasing usage of the system over time due to increase in the number of image transactions. This may result in the gradual slowdown of the system and, may cause slow image retrieval and delivery time. A cost effective PACS system monitoring tool can help in identifying the root causes of the system slow down.

The monitoring tool performs a statistical analysis of the system usage during the normal and peak times. By keeping continuous track of the communication between PACS server and the workstations, the monitoring system decreases the frequency of manual intervention and lets the PACS administrators take a short walk.

How fast you manage the radiology reporting demand is dependent on how efficient your underlying PACS network is. A monitoring tool helps you view the backlog of requests and take the appropriate action at the right time.

With the help of monitoring tool, you can attain clinical efficiency by identifying the right cause that is putting you in trouble. When you encounter a huge queue of DICOM images, the monitoring tool also lets you run custom commands to retrieve the high priority cases from the queue and deliver them.

PACS administrators can get the alerts and notifications through email and SMS regarding any sort of server and network issues. This provides effective time frame to troubleshoot the issue before it impacts the radiology workflow.