Increasing percentages of digital modalities in radiology, in particular of digital image acquisition in conventional radiography, call for digital reporting, communication, and archiving techniques. These techniques are prerequisites for the "filmless" hospital. The first 2 have been covered extensively in the literature and by vendors. However, as regards online digital image archives there are still no satisfactory concepts available in the medical field. The present paper puts forward some suggestions as to how this situation could be improved.Analyses of radiology operations consider the prevailing PACS (picture archiving and communication system) archive concepts that use optical discs to be too small, too slow and too cumbersome to manage and therefore unable to function as comprehensive image archives for filmless hospitals. We suggest borrowing and adapting the well tested archive technologies from space research and the oil and broadcasting industries which have much higher capacities and speeds and better software interfacing possibilities. With such technologies the needs of filmless hospital operations can be met.A feasible concept for a transition strategy from conventional analog to digital archives is presented. Model calculations of the necessary investments and potential savings, including generous placement of viewing stations in the entire hospital, indicate amortization periods of 3.8-4.8 years.Alternative technologies for digital image archives already today make full-scale PACS for filmless hospitals technologically and conceptually feasible and financially mandatory.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VZ65900002
View details for PubMedID 8995452