Case Study Analysis on the prevalent utilization of picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs)

Case Study Analysis

Overall Theme/Summary

In the contemporary business environment, almost every organization considers using new technologies. Healthcare organizations are not left out in the usage of new technologies with main aim of improving efficiency and quality of healthcare. Among the new technologies that are being used today include picture archiving and communication system (PACS). This is a medical image that manages the information system while integrating equipments through a specific network (Black, Car, Pagliari, Anandan, Cresswell, Bokun, McKinstry, Procter, Majeed & Sheikh, 2011). There are several tangible benefits that are associated with the use of PACS such as production of images at any given time or anywhere, time reduction in retrieving images, ease the radiology process making it more efficient, and enabling consultation to take place within different health care organizations regardless of their distance.

An extensive part of the investigation included the use of TAM that was performed specifically in Arab country at a hospital known as King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) (Aldosari, 2012). The result of the study they conducted showed that the level of PACS acceptance among the staff was highly limited/ small. However, despite the fact that the acceptance level was low, there was a widespread use of this technology in the healthcare system.

Introduction/ Analysis/ Assessment of the problem

The aim of the case study was to analyze the prevalent utilization of picture archiving and communication systems (PACSs) with regards that the knowledge of the users was limited. The limitation in the knowledge of users particularly in Saudi Arabia was analyzed. However, regardless of the importance of PACSs and the advantages that it adds to the healthcare system, it has several limitations such as large financial investments and widespread use of its systems which may lead to slow operation. For these reasons, user acceptance of this particular technology has not been good. There was a need to identify the knowledge of acceptance among the users because of the increase in financial investment that is associated with PACSs implementation. Therefore, the pertinent event and activities involved in this case study was to conduct an investigation to find out the level of acceptance among the staff in healthcare facilities.  The case would also help them to evaluate the benefits that PACSs contributed to the users in healthcare system.

The key stakeholders and the players in the research study include: the hospital managers at KAMC, the researchers, the radiologists, the clinicians, and the medical staff at the hospital. The main methods that were used to conduct the analysis include Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) whereby a consideration was taken on the staff members who are working at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), Saudi Arabia in the department of radiology (Aldosari, 2012). At the same time eight studies were conducted with different methods used to collect data. Five of the studies utilized the method of quantitative investigation on the acceptance of PACS in healthcare facilities while the other three studies used questionnaire survey database to evaluate the acceptance level among the staff members in healthcare industry (Aldosari, 2012).  However, the authors of the case study only managed to include three literature works that were conducted before the study. The data was collected through the use of questionnaire survey of about 89 users of PACSs whereby they determined the way they used the technology, their behavior while using it and the change constructed. The result of the study showed that the rate of usage differed among individuals. For instance, PU comprised of 4.33/5, change 4.26/5, acceptance 3.86/5 and PEU 4.15/5 (Duyck, Pynoo, Devolder, Voet, Adang, Ovaere & Vercruysse, 2010). One thing that resonated from this study is the fact that technologists did not accept PACSs usage like the radiologists/clinicians. However, there was no influence of culture on the determinants or acceptance levels. The conclusion of the study was that to achieve high acceptance levels, it was paramount for healthcare organizations to implement the use of PACS to encourage adoption.

Lessons Learned, Analysis of findings implementation and Outcomes

User acceptance in any given case is always very important for success to be achieved especially when an organization or industry decided to try using new technology. Based on the case study, the acceptance level of PACSs may be low but the results revealed that the perceived usefulness (PU) of the technology was high. At the same time, the technology was important in healthcare system because it ease use of various items which lead to increase perceived ease of use (PEU) level being high in KAMC hospital which where the study was conducted. However, the greatest determinant on whether a technology is of importance does not rely on acceptance but on perceived useful meaning that the value it adds to the organization. With the increased level of PU in PACSs usage, it means that most people within the healthcare organization value its existence and the benefits it comes with (Wetering, Batenburg, Versendaal, Lederman & Firth, 2006).

The following is a SWOT analysis on PACSs technology in healthcare system


  • Improve the quality of work that is conducted by healthcare practitioners
  • It made the patient care better



  • Increase in financial investment that is associated with PACSs implementation
  • Widespread use of its systems which may lead to slow operation

  • It is easy to use
  • It makes working interesting, less stressful and pleasant



  • If the acceptance level of the technology is low, some organizations may decide not to implement or encourage its use regardless of the benefits that it brings
  • Increased financial investment on this technology may lead to increase in health care cost in Saudi Arabia.



The lesson on the case are important especially the basis that acceptance level is not as much important as the usefulness of a machine or new technology. This information can help in a future study especially in a case where people have rejected a particular technology that seems to help save a lot of lives.

Proposed Resolution or solutions

It is important for the healthcare industry managers in Saudi Arabia to make people especially those who does not accept PACS to see its value and begin to accept it. They should be made to see all the useful functions that it helps the healthcare system to achieve. This can be achieved through training and familiarizing them with the program functions of PACS especially the ways in which they can implement them for the good of the healthcare institution and also for the patients (Pare & Trudel, 2007). The training should focus on the technologists, who according to the study had the lowest rate of acceptance of technology. At the same time, the health care organization should take into consideration all the factors that foster acceptance of use of PACS among the staff members. This will enable them to know where to start or which route to take with the training program to make the health care technicians to realize the value and benefits of PACS.


Aldosari, B. (2012). User acceptance of a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) in Saudi Arabian hospital radiology department. Aldosari BMC medical informatics and decision making 12(44), 1-10

Black, AD., Car, J., Pagliari, C., Anandan, C., Cresswell, K.., Bokun, T., McKinstry, B., Procter, R., Majeed, A., & Sheikh, A. (2011).The impact of eHealth on the quality and safety of health care: a systematic overview. PloS Medicine 2011, 8(1): 13-31

Duyck,P., Pynoo, B., Devolder,P., Voet, T., Adang, L., Ovaere, D., & Vercruysse, J. (2010). Monitoring the PACS implementation process in a large university hospital – discrepancies between radiologists and physicians. Journal of Digital Imaging  23(1),73–80

Pare, G., & Trudel, M-C. (2007). Knowledge barriers to PACS adoption and implementation in hospitals.International Journal of Medical Informatics 76(1):22–33.

Wetering, R., Batenburg, R., Versendaal, J., Lederman, R., & Firth, L (2006).A balanced evaluation perspective: Picture archiving and communication system impacts on hospital workflow.Journal of Digital Imaging 19,10–17.