Professional change management likely to ease transition to PACS implementation

London 22 January 2004Likely outcomes of expanded picture archiving and communication system (PACS) implementation include re-engineered work flow in radiology departments and organisational/cultural resistance to change. Effective change management during this transition phase is, therefore, vital. Professional service vendors that can convince providers about a smooth transition during and uninterrupted services after PACS implementation are poised to reap substantial market share.

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As provider institutions await initial PACS deployment, change management is expected to emerge as an immediate challenge. "Clinical transformation during the implementation of PACS solutions throws open several issues that need to be dealt with, both by the provider institution and the PACS vendor", cautioned Siddharth Saha, Research Analyst from Frost & Sullivan. "The issues range from technology, work flow processes and switchover issues to people-related issues and change management."

Vendors are also likely to confront various degrees of apprehensions regarding the actual quantum of benefits effected by PACS solutions and services. Indeed, a significant obstacle to PACS implementation has been the quantification of benefits derived from the system. While providers want return on investment (RoI), executives in charge of operations look for enhanced productivity.

Therefore, professional services components, including clinical consulting and work flow re-engineering, will need to justify the costs of using these new technologies and services. Vendors will need to offer tangible value propositions to clinicians to encourage the uptake of PACS and other IT systems. As the benefits of PACS and professional services are quantified through time bound implementation and efficiencies achieved, organisational resistance is likely to diminish.

Despite these challenges, the total PACS professional services market, comprising consulting, project management, systems integration and training and support, is set for healthy expansion. The market is set to grow at an annual average of 19,7 percent over the 2003-2010 period. Increased uptake of IT solutions including clinical information systems and PACS by health care providers are expected to provide impetus to the PACS professional services market. "Migration to these clinical information systems will be facilitated by a good portfolio of professional services that helps the provider organisation to assess, choose, implement and support these systems", added Mr. Saha.

The integration of new clinical information systems with existing legacy systems is also likely to fuel uptake of professional services. Optimised work flow, reliable throughput and improved profitability resulting from the use of professional services are also expected to be key drivers of market growth.

Revenue forecasts reveal that the overall PACS professional services market is set to increase from $95,0 million in 2003 to $334,0 million in 2010. The project management sector is anticipated to account for the largest revenue share in 2010 due to major implementations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and France followed by systems integration, training and support, and consulting services segments.

Health care delivery can undoubtedly benefit from the multiple benefits offered by technology. On their part, IT professional services vendors need to maintain close working relationships with hospitals and offer innovative financial schemes to help them tide over budgetary constraints.

PACS professional services vendors also need to maintain a diverse client portfolio to leverage their experience in the varied and competitive health care industry. Companies offering scalable and flexible solutions along with the scope for a smooth evolution to new systems are likely to gain favour with both end-users and providers. Market participants also need to build and retain strategic relationships with hardware suppliers, distributors and clients, thus facilitating easy client servicing.

If you are interested in an analysis overview which provide manufacturers, end-users and other industry participants an overview, summary, challenges and latest trends in the European PACS Professional Services Market, then send an e-mail to Katja Feick, Public Relations Manager, with the following information: Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Tel. Number, Contact Fax Number, e-mail. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be e-mailed to you. For more information on the European PACS market, please read this VMW issue's article European PACS market to gain impetus from government support and forthcoming digitisation.


Leslie Versweyveld

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