Widespread optimism for the future, mixed with a cautious fondness for the past are the emotions that define the current push towards enterprise IT solutions. Today’s hospital IT purchasers are feverishly keen on experimenting with enterprise IT solutions. Many feel that even though these solutions overhaul the age-old constructs that hold up health care IT, the promises of these integrated IT solutions to pool resources (budgets, patient data, expertise, etc.), minimize operating redundancies, and improve patient care coordination across the hospital enterprise are too appealing to dismiss.

The concept is flawless on paper, and in a perfect world, every care facility would already have such structures in place—hospitals and hospital departments would work together in perfect harmony, physicians would join hands with purchasers to celebrate the revolution, and patients would benefit from better treatment. In reality, this is far from the truth—misaligned semantics have muddied hospital expectations for enterprise solutions, physicians continue to resist replacing the traditional picture archiving and communication system (PACS) portals through which they built their practice, and patient care coordination remains a series of (largely) fragmented encounters. But even though the health care IT world is not perfect, cautiously—with the courage to be foolish in the short-term—we are getting increasingly closer.

At the heart of the enterprise IT concept is the need to move away from an imaging-department focus towards one that encompasses the hospital enterprise as a whole. By association, this also means that the industry is revisiting its reliance on PACS and imaging workflows to determine whether more neutral approaches to health care IT—like vendor neutral archives (VNA) and enterprise viewers—would be better alternatives to address the growing demands of a hospital enterprise. Make no mistake: PACS is still the dominant technology and will likely never disappear completely, but the industry has arrived at an inflection point where the 35-year PACS hegemony is receding to make room for newer, non-PACS technologies that get along with departments outside of imaging. While the market for enterprise solutions and health care IT will rise rapidly as whole, the PACS segment will remain stagnant at best. As such, the road ahead for PACS vendors will be bumpy; an open-mind for the future and a loosening dependence on the past may be the best bet at traversing it.


DRG has published an all new report: US Enterprise Solutions. It provides qualitative and quantitative insight on VNAs, enterprise PACS, and dedicated image exchange solutions. The market for enterprise solutions is rife with risk and opportunity. Discover a roadmap for your company to navigate through this evolving market.

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