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Media Room

News Releases / 2008

Ojai Valley Community Hospital’s New PACS Network Ensures Quicker Diagnoses for Patients

Left to Right: Barbara Pops, Richard Nunley and Mary Jo Garrett

Ojai, California, 02/19/2008

If a picture is, as the old saying goes, worth a thousand words, what is an entire collage of images worth?

In the world of medicine, words like “priceless” and “invaluable” come to mind. Especially now that such images as X-rays, CAT scans, ultrasounds and MRIs may be readily accessed by your doctor or diagnostician with little more than a click of a button, from virtually anywhere, while you wait.

Thanks to the wonders of the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), now available at Ojai Valley Community Hospital, the days of patients carrying large brown X-ray envelopes from the hospital to their doctor’s office are over.

Doctors can consult patients in their offices, by phone from their home, or anywhere else there is Internet access, and give their patients up-to-the-minute results of their latest X-ray, and immediately view any other medical imaging their patients have had.

“Basically, we’re going filmless,” said Richard Nunley, OVCH’s manager of Diagnostic Testing.

Ojai Valley Community Hospital’s new PACS network was made possible by a $500,000 donation from an anonymous Ojai-area couple. The network is identical to the one that Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura installed two years ago.

Barbara Pops, chair of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation, said the benefactors wanted to designate their donation to the Radiology Department and chose to fund the PACs network after reviewing different options with Gary Wilde, Chief Executive Officer for Community Memorial Health System.

“We’re absolutely overwhelmed by their generosity,” Pops said. “It’s a very high-tech and sophisticated system, and we’re thrilled to have it at our hospital.”

The state-of-the-art computer software system also reduces the time spent waiting for images to become available. The results are a quicker diagnosis; reduced retesting for patients as images are more easily available when required; the ability for images to be viewed by experts hundreds of miles away from multiple sites 24 hours a day; and making lost images a thing of the past.

Before, it could take up to six days from an X-ray being taken to transcribing the story behind it. Now, a doctor can get a voice clip of the initial verbal impression made by a radiologist after taking an X-ray along with a downloaded image, within minutes.

“This upgrade is very impressive, and will improve the quality of the healthcare for residents of the Ojai Valley,” said OVCH Administrator Mary Jo Garrett.