Original Research

Clinicians’ perspective of picture archiving and communication systems at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

Polite Tshalibe, Jacinta Adrigwe, Susan Lucas
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 27, No 1 | a2578 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v27i1.2578 | © 2023 Polite Tshalibe, Jacinta Adrigwe, Susan Lucas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2022 | Published: 10 May 2023

About the author(s)

Polite Tshalibe, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Jacinta Adrigwe, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Highveld Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Susan Lucas, Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

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 the University of the Witwatersrand teaching circuit, in South Africa.

Objectives: To measure the clinicians’ perceived benefits and challenges of PACS. To document perceived views on how the current PACS can be improved.

Method: This was a cross-sectional observational study over a period of 5 months from September 2021 to January 2022 carried out at CMJAH. Questionnaires were distributed to referring clinicians with PACS experience. Descriptive statistics was conducted. Categorical variables were presented as frequency and percentages. The continuous variables were presented as means ± standard deviation.

Results: A survey with a response rate of 54% 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 the lack of advanced image manipulating software were noted. The most frequent recommendations on improvements focused on the aforementioned challenges.

Conclusion: Hospital-wide PACS was viewed beneficial by most clinicians. Nonetheless, there are a few aspects that deserve attention to improve the functionality and access of the system.

Contribution: The findings will assist in future hospital or provincial-wide PACS deployment projects.


Keywords

picture archiving and communication systems (PACS); physicians; cross sectional studies; surveys and questionnaires; South Africa; referral and consultation; clinician satisfaction

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