Clinicians’ perspective of pacs at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

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Background: Picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) are now an established means of capturing, storing, distribution and viewing of all radiology images. The study was conducted in a quaternary hospital, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH), part of University of Witwatersrand teaching circuit, in South Africa. There are few studies conducted in our local environment evaluating the clinicians’ perception of PACS in public teaching hospitals. Objectives: To measure the clinicians’ perceived benefits and challenges of PACS. To document their perceived views on how the current PACS can be improved. Methods This was a cross-sectional observational study over a period of five months, from September 2021 to January 2022, carried out at CMJAH. Questionnaires were distributed to clinicians with PACS experience. Descriptive statistics were conducted. Categorical variables were presented as frequencies and percentages. The continuous variables were presented as mean ± standard deviation. Results: The response rate was 54%. The survey found the benefits most reported by clinicians were improved patient care, less time needed to review an exam, improved image comparison, and consultation efficiency. With respect to perceived challenges, the unavailability of images at the bedside, problems with access, and a lack of advanced image manipulating software were noted most frequently. The most frequent recommendations for improvements focused on the aforementioned challenges. Conclusion: Although a small majority of respondents found PACS beneficial, there were also significant issues with accessibility and functionality of the system. Contribution: The findings will assist in future hospital or provincial-wide PACS deployment projects.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Medicine (MMed) in Diagnostic Radiology to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Clinical Medicine, Johannesburg, 2023
Picture archiving and communication systems, Storing, Capturing