Redefining PACS worklist priorities

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Pulling inspiration from Wall Street stock market ticker displays of current market conditions, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed a new type of worklist engine that places studies into various queues as they enter a PACS. The purpose of the effort was to find a new approach to worklists rather than use the lists generally offered within current PACS, said Kevin W. McEnery, MD, who presented the study effort during the Productivity & Workflow 2 scientific session yesterday at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM, formerly SCAR) in Austin, Texas.
The new worklist was developed through a customized PACS workflow engine they developed. Each study that comes into the system is assigned at least one queue but can actually have multiple queues. The queues in the system are case-based depending on imaging modality, patient hospitalization status, which imaging service is responsible, and available clinical indications. Radiologists are thus enabled to read examinations from different queues during a reading session and if their assignments are complete they may move on to cases in another queue, when possible.
McEnergy said that this type of system has been found to boost patient care continuity because a patient can have multiple exams interpreted by the same radiologist. The worklist approach also was found to generally improve interpretation workflow that is more dynamic and efficient.