At Eastern Maine Medical Center we are very proud to have the latest in filmless technology, also known as PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System). PACS uses a computer network designed for the acquisition, transmission, display, storage, and retrieval of digital medical images. All facets of the medical imaging department are using this cutting-edge technology.
The benefits of PACS are numerous when compared to conventional filming. The most important benefit that the EMMC PACS provides is greatly enhanced patient care. This is accomplished by linking primary care and specialist physicians to digital imaging functions that provide them with quicker access to images and reports, which allows for more efficient and timely clinical care decisions. Secondary benefits of PACS are the elimination of film loss, the ability to manipulate the contrast and brightness of the images, the capability for simultaneous viewing of images at multiple workstations throughout the hospital, remote retrieval by physicians at their offices or homes, and improved image storage. Images can be taken and read in a matter of seconds with PACS speeding up the diagnosis process, which is particularly important in cases of trauma or life-threatening illness. No longer does a technologist need to walk or run x-rays to a radiologist in a critical situation because the images are readily available on PACS. The digital images can also be copied onto a CD so patients can carry them along to physician visits or appointments to other medical facilities.
Members of Regional PACS/IMPAX Affiliates have the ability to share images from their hospitals with experts at Eastern Maine Medical Center in a matter of seconds. This network of hospitals includes:
- Blue Hill Memorial Hospital
- CA Dean Memorial Hospital (Greenville)
- Cutler Health Center (University of Maine)
- Inland Hospital (Waterville)
- Mayo Regional Hospital (Dover Foxcroft)
- Millinocket Regional Hospital
- Penobscot Valley Hospital (Lincoln)
- Penobscot Community Health Center (Bangor)
- Sebasticook Valley Health (Pittsfield)
- St. Joseph Hospital (Bangor)
- The Aroostook Medical Center (Presque Isle)
- Union Street Imaging Center
- Health Access Center (Lincoln)
PACS provides digital image transmission almost instantaneously to these hospitals to alleviate wait times for an additional expert opinion. The development of Regional PACS was aided by the awarding of a rural grant received through a partnership between EMHS hospitals.