Nova Scotia is a leader in diagnostic imaging (DI) communication applications. Each year in Nova Scotia, more than 1.27 million patient diagnostic images such as angiograms, CT scans, X-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds are captured and centrally, and securely, stored through PACS, which facilitates the sharing of patient information. In June 2006, Nova Scotia was the second province in Canada to achieve 100 percent Picture Archiving & Communication System (PACS) implementation.
PACS allows for more efficient use of limited health care resources by using digital electronics to capture, store, transmit and distribute medical images resulting in a filmless environment. The application enables radiologists and other health providers to remotely and instantaneously access images at the right place and time, providing more efficient and modern health care services. By removing the barriers of geography, health care professionals can provide improved and faster patient diagnosis, leading to better patient outcomes.
PACS transforms a patient’s experience in several ways, including:
- More concise and efficient diagnosis
- Improved care.
- Fewer patient transfers
- Faster and more complete diagnosis
- Ability for physicians to consult on patient cases at a distance…bridging urban and rural health care
- More access to specialist consultation for patients in remote locations
- Patients do not have to transport film during their care
- Less time waiting for test results, which can lead to a faster transition to the next phase of treatment or care
- Less time required for re-testing
- Increased wait times or postponed operations because images and test results are not readily available or the images are poor quality.
- Fewer tests result in less exposure to radiation
- Patients may be discharged from health care facilities faster