Hospitals are the ultimate stress test for a PACS, with multiple modalities pumping images in, multiple connected viewer workstations, and many other responsibilities such as printing, transmitting exams to other sites, and serving Telerad viewers. Opal-Rad PACS meets all of these challenges head-on and provides the stability and on-demand performance required in this environment.
The Opal-RAD PACS Server components are separated into several server computers in the Hospital solution to ease the load on each machine. The DICOM Gateway, which receives images from the modalities, exists on one (or many) machine, while the Image Server (serves exams to connected Viewer workstations) and components like TeleRad Gateway, Archive Server, and Queue Manager reside on separate server-class computers. This electronic division of labor ensures a more reliable and responsive system.
Opal-RAD Viewer connects to the Server over a high speed local area network to list and view exams stored in the system. Viewer combines an intuitive exam listing screen with a state of the art diagnostic-quality medical image viewer.
An additional component to the Server, Web Server allows remote physicians to view exams over the Internet. This access is ideally suited to referring physicians.
This component to Server connects doctors “on the go” to the central PACS system, allowing diagnostic reads from remote locations. Exams are transferred over virtually any connection method, including T1, DSL, ISDN, and even telephone line.
Archives exams to a magneto optical jukebox to retain available space on the Server.
Even small clinics are subject to new federal regulation regarding secondary archival of medical images. For security and availability considerations, especially arising from these recent federal regulations, Viztek offers an optional offsite secure storage service. This component is attached to the standalone acquire workstation (or Opal-RAD Server, if present) and automatically sends secondary copies of the clinic’s exams to a secure location at Viztek. Should this secondary backup ever be needed, exams are available immediately, minimizing downtime and assuring the clinic’s continued workflow.
Although the purchase of the Opal-RAD digital radiology tools makes great financial sense by drastically cutting costs while increasing patient workflow (and thus revenue), Viztek realizes that it is not possible with every budget to purchase the entire system outright. The “Per Shot” payment program alleviates this condition by cutting the initial cash outlay to a fraction of the full purchase price, and charging a small fee per exam.
The benefit of this program is twofold: the smaller initial investment and the flexibility to discontinue use of the system in the future without having purchased the entire system up front.