The responsibilities of a PACS and RIS supplier

For non-specialists, programming is often seen as a mysterious universe where preconceived ideas take root. Have you ever said about software or an application that a certain task was « not so complicated » to accomplish, that you only needed to « do this » to produce the desired result? In truth, the path leading to an efficient application often takes turns and presents many unforeseen obstacles… Who knows what kind of bug you might encounter?    

We have all gone through frustrating moments after having lost some data because of a bug or a human error. Luckily, it’s rarely a matter of life or death. However, in a healthcare setting, such extreme cases do exist.

A PACS and RIS supplier must therefore assume important responsibilities: thousands of professionals are relying on these applications in order to carry out their healthcare work, day in, day out; dozens of thousands of examinations are performed non-stop on a daily basis, hardly slowing down at night, to which are attached medical reports that need to be written up. Since doctors and other health professionals rely on these systems to make a diagnosis, the slightest error, should such clinical systems suffer a malfunction, could pose serious risks for patients.  

Diagnostic imaging is at the very heart of modern medicine. When linked to a patient’s personal information, it ensures that the treatment that a patient is receiving is the one for his or her condition. It is therefore essential to ensure the efficient functioning of the RIS/PACS systems and the integrity and delivery of the accurate information. The responsibility of this task lies with the supplier who will make sure that all devices are working correctly.

When Barriers Call for Creative Solutions

In spite of the variety of needs, Imagem doesn’t produce different versions of its Interview suite, its RIS/PACS product. Adaptations measures are integrated into the Suite and provide flexibility, but in time, they might meet an obstacle:

  • Respect the specificities and the working methods of each healthcare facility;
  • Dispute resolutions over design and improvement requests and the actual system;
  • Evolving needs along the way;
  • Compatibility between different versions;
  • Maintaining software levels and keeping track of versions used by clients and of updates that need to be done.

Imagem is fully aware of the seriousness of the responsibilities that lie with its mission to help those who are helping. Everything has therefore been set up to ensure that its RIS/PACS systems work correctly. Therefore, Imagem will:

  • Install the latest tested versions of all its products when completing a new installation;
  • Maintain software levels and keep track of database and operating system updates that need to be done between clients by taking into account the particularities of the environments (updates may require that versions be sequenced to ensure a secure transition);
  • Proceed with data migration when necessary;
  • Establish an action plan in cooperation with healthcare administrators and professionals to avoid misunderstandings and needless worries.

And to meet his responsibilities, a RIS/PACS supplier must first establish a relationship of trust in order to facilitate communication between all parties involved.

Imagem: Great teamwork that ultimately benefits all Quebeckers.