Sunday, October 07, 2012

PACS Down Under

My communications from Western Australia continue in a rather dismal vein. One source tells me:
PACS goes completely down for hours at a time some days. Docs are reporting directly from modalities on occasions just to get the work done. Backlog has reached >1000 dictations. Agfa IS bringing in support from US and Europe to get it fixed.
Sadly, the "fixes" may be worse than the problem. Another source relates:
People ARE coming in, but nothing getting any better. If anything, what little we hear is people trying to make excuses and make stupid tweaks that are either likely to do nothing or compensate for the crapness of the software like:
  • Remove any useful web stations are locked to Windows XP 
  • Restrict workstations to IE 6, and so additional computers are needed for any purpose other than PACS
  • Adjusting page file size to compensate poor memory management.
  • Changing to more expensive video cards and monitors.
It’s infuriating seeing more taxpayers dollars still getting wasted. The fact that the PACS goes down for not just hours, but days at a time, makes the radiology department an irrelevant laughing stock.
Um...Agfa? Are you listening yet?

Enough of this. I KNOW the Agfa brass reads this blog. I have asked for your comments a dozen times, and nothing. How about a statement? I think your customers, current and ESPECIALLY potential, would like to know what went wrong.

Our IMPAX 6.5 PACS does work. It isn't perfect, and it isn't my favorite, but it works, with far less downtime than my friends in WA are experiencing. Most stations are now on Windows 7, with IE 8, and no have few if any problems. The Agfa people on the ground in WA are clearly barking up the wrong tree.

What's the problem? As far as I know, machinery in the Southern Hemisphere should work pretty much the same as in the Northern Hemisphere. Perhaps the PACS is experiencing "G'Day" overload...

Here's my advice to Agfa:  Replace all hardware, and reload every bit of software with the current version, the version I have, and migrate all data as rapidly and safely as possible to the new system. Don't like that idea? Let's hear a better one.

And I would be very hesitant, at least if I were outside the US, to make a purchase until this situation is solved. But that's just me.


Celticpiping said...

yeah, it sounds like a desperate situation needs a radical fix.

Anonymous said...

On the other side of Australia, a major hospital is jumping off the Agfa RIS/PACS solution, with possibly more hospitals to follow. Infuriatingly slow PACS/RIS integration is driving radiologists crazy!