A snapshot look at the numbers
There’s lots of good news for PACS administrators these days. Their position is solid, essential to the radiology departmen —and now even enterprise-wide image access—and salaries are growing. This year’s PACS administrator salary survey brought input from 771 respondents (wow, we thought that was a lot too!) who have the title of PACS administrator. One-third of these folks earn between $60,000 and $75,000 and more have received vendor training than any other kind of specialized PACS-related education. The largest group of respondents work at a hospital with 100-300 beds and are responsible for PACS at one facility. The largest group work in the Midwest and received a raise of 1 to 3 percent in 2005. More than half are a member of the purchasing team that acquired the current PACS and more than half are extremely or very satisfied with their current PACS vendor. PACS administrators are most likely to have their position budgeted by the radiology department and report to the chief or director of radiology. Most have been employed as a PACS administrator for 1-3 years and are between 30-35 years old or 40-45 years old.
The fine print
Health Imaging & IT posted the online survey of 42 questions from Jan. 10th through Feb. 3rd on our website healthimaging.com and solicited participation from a group of 2595 select subscribers (by title) from our web address database. In all, 771 respondents completed the survey and emailed it to us for tabulation. That’s a response rate of 30 percent. Duplicate and incomplete surveys were eliminated from the result
Most PACS administrators are earning $60,000 to $65,000, which also was last year’s largest category. This category has increased by 0.8 percentage points. Higher salary ranges have also increased over last year’s survey: the $65,000 to $70,000 range grew 1.1 percentage points to 11.3%, the $70,000 to $75,000 range grew 2.5 percentage points to 10.3%; and the $75,000-$80,000 range grew .9 percentage points to 8.9%.
|Your PACS Administrator Job Functions ranked by respondent priority|
|A more in-depth look at the state of the PACS administrator|
This year’s PACS administrator survey results lined up fairly closely with last year’s numbers
This year, 48 percent of survey respondents says their title is PACS administrator, followed by another 13 percent whose title is RIS/PACS manager. More than three-quarters (78 percent) are in charge of PACS operations and 57 percent run the operation on their own. Eleven percent are responsible for one FTE, 7 percent for 2 FTEs, and 5 percent for three FTEs. The majority (90 percent) provide on-call services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but 60 percent say they are not the only person to cover on-call duties. And although almost half say there is less than one other FTE PACS administrator employed at their organization, 91 percent say there are no PACS administrator positions currently unfilled.
Most survey respondents received a salary increase during 2005 — 39 percent got a 1-3 percent raise and 37 percent received 3-6 percent. Similar to last year, 20 percent reported a bonus of less than $5,000.
Most PACS administrators have a bachelors degree (44 percent), while 12 percent have earned a master’s degree and 25 percent have an associate’s degree. Some 84 percent have received vendor training and 58 percent have received independent PACS training. Respondents overwhelmingly believe that PACS certification would be beneficial to their career (72 percent).
A majority of PACS admins got their current job by working at their current facility. Another 21 percent found their job through networking with colleagues. And some news that may put radiology administrators at ease — 83 percent of PACS administrators said they do not plan to change jobs this year. Some 43 percent have been employed as a PACS administrator for 1 to 3 years and 20 percent for less than 1 year. Many appear to have logged extensive experience either in cardiology or radiology (22 percent have more than 20 years of experience in these fields); or in IT (25 percent have 3 to 6 years experience and another 30 percent have 6 to 12 years of experience).
As far as where PACS administrators work, 27 percent work in a hospital with 100 to 300 beds, 17 percent in a hospital with 300 to 500 beds and another 17 percent said a multi-hospital system or independent delivery network. By region, the most respondents live in the Midwest (25.6 percent), followed by the Northeast (22.4 percent), Southwest (16.5 percent) and the West (14.6 percent).Most respondents said their facility logs 50,000 to 100,000 imaging studies annually (22 percent), followed by 100,000 to 150,000 (17.3 percent), 200,000 to 300,000 (13.4 percent), and 150,000 to 200,000 (12.6 percent). Some 38 percent work in a facility that is 90 to 100 percent filmless. Another 21 percent said their facility is 80 to 90 percent filmless, followed by 70 to 80 percent filmless (13.8 percent). And the PACS are most likely to share PACS images with RIS (71.3 percent), followed by teleradiology (51.7 percent), HIS (44.6 percent), and another PACS (37.4 percent).