If I could summarize what you need to do in order to be successful in evaluating PACS solutions at RSNA, it all boils down to one thing – be efficient. This year there are more vendors offering PACS than ever before, so it’s very easy to be overwhelmed by all there is to see as you walk the show floor. This “No Bull” guide to the PACS review is meant to make the process more manageable by separating the essential needs for RSNA from the extra details that will be an inefficient use of your time.
It is important to recognize that it is highly unlikely that you’ll make your final buying decision through your interactions at RSNA alone. The show is meant to provide a global overview of the vendors that you’re considering, leading to more detailed questions and discussions after you get home. With that in mind, 30-45 minutes per vendor should be sufficient time to gather all of the information you need. While that may seem like a small amount of time, if you’re well-prepared you should find it to be more than enough to give you a feel for the vendor’s offerings and how they relate to your needs.
Before arriving at RSNA you need to have a clear idea of what you want. Research the vendors you’ll be visiting ahead of time then narrow your list as you pre-schedule product demos. Additionally, understanding your current radiology workflow, including any existing clinical systems, will help the vendor zero in on the solutions that will best meet your needs – and not waste your time with products that won’t.
With efficiency also comes consistency. Be sure that you ask all companies that you visit the same set of baseline questions. This should help you along the next step in the decision-making process. Comparing vendors along a uniform set of parameters – set before you get to the show to avoid getting sidetracked by extra information – will make coming to your final PACS decision easier and more organized.
Of course, a little help along the way never hurts. The complete Webinar to evaluating PACS at RSNA 2010, including tips to get the most out of product demos, can be seen through AuntMinnie. There you’ll also find the full presentation available to download for your reference as you prepare for the show.