Digital Radiology Images Via Lakeland's Picture Archival and Communication System
Within the field of radiology, digital imaging
has led to a revolution: the development of the Picture Archival and
Communication System (PACS). Lakeland’s radiology department provides digital
imaging services in combination with a PACS for all modalities: ultrasonography,
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), computed
tomography (CT), mammography and radiography, at all Lakeland imaging
"We began the switch to digital imaging with
the opening of the Center for Outpatient Services in 2003. Lakeland Hospital,
Niles was brought into the network once the renovations to that facility were
completed," said Kent Lancaster, MD, radiologist. "PACS replaces the
hard-copy or film-based means of managing medical images, expanding the
possibilities of conventional systems in a variety of ways."
Lakeland’s PACS is a Web-accessible product
that integrates image-acquisition devices, display workstations and storage
systems. This allows complete digital acquisition, transfer, interpretation,
storage, and transmission of radiology studies and reports. Radiologists,
primary care and specialty care physicians can all access the database.
Lakeland’s radiology equipment feeds images directly into PACS in digital form.
Radiologists view the studies and dictate their findings, which are embedded
into the file.
"The system brings the images to the point of
patient care," explained Dr. Lancaster. "Any studies done digitally since we
brought the PACS on board can be accessed from a physician’s office, or home
The combination of digital imaging and the PACS
has brought increased efficiency to Lakeland’s radiology department. Because
they need not wait for the development of film, radiologists are able to review
the studies and the corresponding reports in a more timely manner. Simultaneous
viewing of radiology studies through the PACS provides radiologists or other
medical staff at separate Lakeland locations with the ability to consult via
Digital images from PACS can be cropped,
rotated, magnified and adjusted for brightness and contrast to provide enhanced
images for the radiologist. Three-dimensional images, such as those obtained
from Lakeland’s PET/CT scanner, can be viewed in a mode called CINE, producing a
movie-type moving image. Digital images allow radiologists to use the latest
computer-aided detection software in reviewing mammograms.
"Physicians new to the use of PACS often have
questions regarding the best monitor for viewing images," stated Dr. Lancaster.
"It is correct that we use high-resolution monitors for study review in the
radiology department. However, physicians who make use of PACS from their home
or office enjoy good resolution on standard monitors, particularly because they
have the ability to magnify the images."
"PACS has been very useful to me as an
orthopedic surgeon," said Kenneth J. Edwards, MD. "When I get a call
about a patient in the emergency room, I can view the images and guide the
initial treatment of the patient even before I arrive at the
Physicians who are interested in having access
to their patients’ imaging studies done at Lakeland in their office or home via
PACS should contact Lakeland’s PACS administrator, Dave Kahanek, at
To schedule a patient for imaging services at
Lakeland’s Center for Outpatient Services in St. Joseph, call 269-556-2810; or
for Lakeland Hospital in Niles, call 269-687-1400.