Friday, October 28, 2011

Dalai Gets Schooled By Merge

Nanak, my PACS guru, recently asked for permission to attend a MERGE PACS training session. The description looked so good, I wanted to attend as well:
Merge Healthcare, the leading developer of information technology to create a better electronic healthcare experience, invites you to attend a specialized training session. During training, our technical experts will walk you through a deep dive of the technology’s features and functionality so you gain the critical skills necessary to maximize your investment in Merge solutions.

Where: Daytona, Florida

Learning objectives:
  • Systems Overview - PACS Components
  • Server Maintenance
  • Definition of logs and what they mean
  • Advanced trouble shooting techniques
  • MWL Filtering (how it works)
  • Creating advance transfer rules
  • Managing Image volumes and watermarks
  • RTWL filtering
  • Management Tools
The two-day session was held at Merge Southern Headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida:

As it turns out, this is also Merge's main support site, and so we got to see the "prairie-dog village" as Nanak calls it, where the support folks do their thing:

We had the opportunity to meet in person many of the folks who had been taking care of us and our system for the past few years. We also discovered the secret of their seemingly unlimited energy:

We also got the chance to have dinner with my friend Mike Cannavo, the PACS exec formerly known as the PACMan. (Mike now works for The Man at a big-name vendor.)

The course itself was frankly slightly above my level.  While I do have administrative privileges, I don't dabble too much in the back-end of our system (presently Version 5.0) or the hospital's (version 6.0.4), but I did find it quite valuable to learn more about what goes on there. There are some places I'm not going to tread, and even Nanak doesn't like to dive into the DB2 database, which can be dangerous indeed, but we now know more about how to do so if need be.

One major change between our 6.0.4 and the latest 6.2 is that the name AMICAS is slowly being relegated to the trash bins of history and my failing memory.  The new sign-on screen reads thus:

Perhaps I should moonlight as a PACS admin with my new education. Nah...radiology is probably easier. But I did learn a particularly valuable lesson: Nanak really knows his stuff.  Throughout the whole class, he was helping me understand what was going on, and it was pretty clear he has a huge grasp of this stuff. Remember Dalai's IXth law: 
A true PACS guru is worth his/her weight in gold.
In Nanak's case, that's a lot of gold. But still absolutely true.


Celticpiping said...

man, I gotta start stuffin calories in my twinkie hole.

Boy, I wish rads everywhere shared that sentiment..

Anonymous said...

Did you get over to the Speedway?

stacey said...

That Hilton by the Clocktower is a great deal of fun. Wish I knew you were headin' down I would have made some restaurant recommendations!