Picture archiving and communication systems in the South African public healthcare environment : a suitable structure and guidelines to assist implementation and optimisation

Triegaardt, Myra (2013-12)

Thesis (MScEng)-- Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa has a great number of patients and not enough medical expertise to attend to their patient needs. The South African Department of Health (DoH) has recognised the potential benefit of the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) to address the health needs of rural patients who do not have access to specialised medical care. PACS allows specialist remote access to patient information to assist the diagnosis and treatment process remotely. South African healthcare institutions have been implementing PACS for over a decade, in an attempt to address the health needs of rural patients that do not have access to specialised medical care. Despite numerous deployment attempts, and the DoH’s support for PACS, the system is not operating successfully in South Africa. PACS was chosen due to its proven success as an appropriate technical system in most international hospitals of first and third- world countries (van Wetering, 2008) (Horri, 2010). However, specifications, guidelines and best practice operational methods for the appropriate PACS technical structure are lacking in South African literature and in governmental strategies. Additionally, there are no guidelines for implementation or support for hospital decision makers to manage the system and enterprise change. The purpose of this thesis is to (a) define a PACS technical and operational structure suited for the South African public healthcare environment and, (b) to develop guidelines for implementation and optimisation of PACS for managing the system and the enterprise change and progressively reach the defined structure. A combination of literature research, field observations and focus group discussions led to the understanding of the current (“As-Is”) PACS healthcare delivery system in South Africa and its barriers. Three types of PACS structures were found to be currently available: a DICOM-only image management system; a vendor supplied PACS; and a super-PACS. It was found that currently very few PACS systems in South Africa are operational and integrated with other healthcare institutions. This was due to a combination of factors: a) the complex, long chain of interdependent process steps and domains; b) vendor imposed limitations and propriety data formats; in combination with c) a lack of governing standards to ensure integration of digital PACS systems within the healthcare delivery environment; and lastly d) key decision makers lack the expert knowledge necessary to make informed decisions to deploy and manage PACS optimally. Further research led to establishing the (“To-Be”) PACS technical and operational structure suited for the South African public healthcare environment. Research has shown that the suited PACS technical and operational structure is a hospital-owned PACS system, free from vendor-imposed limits. The system consists of two databases, one with patient information and the other with patient images. The two databases are integrated by a hospital-owned server, which accesses the separate data files by means of patient identity keys. The requirements for the PACS implementation and optimisation guidelines for managing the system and the enterprise change to progressively reach the defined structure were developed. Different Enterprise Architectural Frameworks, as improvement and optimisation guidelines, were considered and compared in accordance with the requirements established. A maturity model (MM) was deemed as the appropriate framework to offer guidelines for managing PACS implementation and optimisation in the public medical sector of South Africa. After establishing that the available MMs were not sufficient in process or technical system detail, a new MM was developed for the deployment and maturation of PACS. The study was validated by means of usability study, user acceptance and goal checking, through focus group discussion and expert review. Users found the model to be a suitable deployment and optimisation guide, as well as a strategic planning tool. Verification was achieved by means of requirement analysis and consistency checking through the focus group discussions. It was found that it is needed to define a PACS technical and operational structure is suited for the South African public healthcare environment and that the guidelines for implementation and optimisation of PACS for managing the system and the enterprise needs to change to reach the defined structure functional. Implementing the use of PACS MM to reach the defined structure in South Africa will assist in improving healthcare delivery in South Africa and improving PACS system operation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika het 'n groot aantal pasiënte en nie genoeg mediese kundiges om aan hul pasiënt behoeftes te voorsien nie. Die Suid-Afrikaanse Departement van Gesondheid (DvG) erken die potensiële voordeel van ‘n Foto Argief en Kommunikasie Stelsel (PACS) om die gesondheidsbehoeftes van alle Suid-Afrikaners aan te spreek – tot die landelike pasiënte wat nie toegang tot gespesialiseerde mediese sorg het nie. PACS laat spesialiste toe om toegang te kry tot afgeleë pasiënt inligting, en daardeur fasiliteer dit die diagnose- en behandelingsproses. Suid-Afrikaanse gesondheidsorginstellings poog al vir meer as ‘n dekade om PACS te implementeer, om daardeur die gesondheidsbehoeftes van landelike pasiënte wat nie toegang tot gespesialiseerde mediese sorg het nie, aan te spreek. Ten spyte van talle ontplooiings pogings, en die DvG se steun vir PACS, is die stelsel steeds nie suksesvol in Suid-Afrika nie. PACS is gekies as ‘n oplossing, as gevolg van die sisteem se bewese sukses as 'n geskikte tegniese stelsel in meeste internasionale hospitale in eerste en derde wêreld lande (van Wetering, 2008) (Horri, 2010). Suid-Afrikaanse regering strategie en literatuur het egter ‘n gebrek aan spesifikasies, riglyne en beste- praktyk operasionele metodes vir die toepaslike PACS tegniese struktuur. Benewens is daar geen riglyne vir die implementering en ondersteuning van die stelsel en die onderneming se verandering vir hospitaal besluitnemers nie. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om (a) 'n PACS tegniese en operasionele struktuur, geskik vir die Suid-Afrikaanse openbare gesondheidsorg omgewing te definieer, en (b) riglyne vir die implementering en afronding van PACS vir die bestuur van die stelsel en die onderneming se verandering teen doel om progressief die gedefinieerde struktuur te bereik. 'n Kombinasie van literatuur navorsing, veldwaarnemings en fokusgroepbesprekings het gelei tot die begrip van die huidige ("as- is") PACS gesondheidsorg proses in Suid-Afrika en die hindernisse daarvan. Drie tipes PACS strukture is tans beskikbaar in SA: 'n DICOM (net-mediese- beelde) beheer stelsel, 'n verkoper verskafde PACS, en 'n super-PACS. Deur uitgebreide navorsing is daar gevind dat baie min PACS stelsels in Suid-Afrika tans operasioneel en geïntegreer is met ander gesondheidsorg instellings. Dit was te danke aan 'n kombinasie van faktore: a) die kompleks, lang ketting van interafhanklike proses stappe en gebiede; b) ondernemer opgelê beperkings en ordentlikheid data formate; in kombinasie met c) 'n gebrek aan beheer standaarde integrasie van digitale PACS stelsels om te verseker binne die lewering van gesondheidsorg-omgewing, en laastens d) sleutel besluitnemers nie die deskundige kennis wat nodig is om ingeligte besluite te sit en te bestuur PACS optimaal te benut. Verdere navorsing het gelei tot die vestigting van die geskikde("to-be") PACS tegniese en operasionele struktuur, vir die Suid-Afrikaanse openbare gesondheidsorg omgewing. Die geskik PACS tegniese en operasionele struktuur bestaan uit ‘n hospitaal-besitde PACS stelsel, vry van ondernemer-opgelegde grense. Die stelsel bestaan uit twee databasisse, een met 'n pasiënt inligting en die ander met dei pasiënte se mediese beelde. Die twee databasisse geïntegreer deur 'n hospitaal-besitde-rekenaarbediener, wat toegang tot die afsonderlike data lêers het deur middel van die unieke pasiënt nommers. Die vereistes vir die PACS implementering en afrondings riglyne, vir die bestuur van die stelsel en die ondernemings veranderinge, is ontwikkel. Verskillende ondernimings argitektuur raamwerke is oorweeg en vergelyking in terme van hulle vermoe om aan die gesigde vereistes et voldoen. As ‘n resultaat is die volwassenheid model (MM) beskou as die toepaslike raamwerk om riglyne vir die bestuur van PACS implementering en afronding in die openbare mediese sektor van Suid-Afrika te bied. Na die beskikbare MMs geasseseer was en nie voldoende bewys is, was 'n nuwe MM ontwikkel vir die implementeering en afronding van PACS. Die studie was gevalideer deur middel van die bruikbaarheid studie, gebruikers aanvaarding en doelwit asseseering, deur middel van fokusgroep besprekings en kundige oorsig. Gebruikers het gevind dat die model geskikte as implementeerings en afrondings gids, sowel as 'n geskikte strategiese beplanning hulpmiddel is. Verifikasie is bereik deur middel van vereiste-ontleding en konsekwentheid analiseering deur die fokusgroep besprekings en spesifikasie analise. Die PACS tegniese en operasionele struktuur wat definieer was, is geskik vir die Suid-Afrikaanse openbare gesondheidsorg omgewing en dat die riglyne vir die implementering en afronding van PACS funksioneel is . Die implementering en gebruik van die gedefinieerde struktuur deur mideel van die PACS MM in Suid-Afrika, sal help in die verbetering van gesondheidsorg dienslewering en die verbetering van PACS stelsel operasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85615
This item appears in the following collections: