Okay, so maybe Cloud storage is not the only option available. The truth is that many radiologists use hard drives, desktop viewing stations, and their local PACS to store medical images. However, what your local PACS distributor and the people behind your viewing station are not telling is you that storing your patients’ medical records and images in any location other than the Cloud is asking for trouble.
If you're considering a migration to a cloud-based picture archiving and communication system (PACS), one of the first questions you may have is, "Will it work with my existing modalities and infrastructure?"
Fortunately, in almost all cases, the answer is yes.
These days, nearly every imaging modality has a network interface. This means that if your network has internet access, enabling your modality to leverage that access is a straightforward task. Internet access is the facilitating factor for your ability to use the cloud as a PACS.
Of course, there are several other considerations before moving into the cloud.
Having no backups is a recipe for disaster — literally. If a natural or man-made disaster strikes and ruins the images on your picture archiving and communication system (PACS), you would have absolutely no recourse. And yet, a good number of health care facilities we speak to seem to be taking this risk daily.
There's no arguing that if you work in health care you need to protect the data in your picture archiving and communication system (PACS). Having good backups of your data is critical as a loss of protected health information (PHI) could be detrimental to your practice or hospital.
If you don’t have a well-defined disaster recovery plan in place, consider this an intervention! Now is the time to put one in place. A picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) disaster recovery plan secures the sustainability of your practice, as well as your ability to provide care to your patients.
On the other hand, if you already have a documented plan, you should take the time to confirm it covers all the most critical aspects of recovery. (Many organizations often address one aspect of disaster recovery, such as backing up their data, but rarely do they have the necessary comprehensive plan in place for recovering quickly from a disaster.)