Who should be the PACS Administrator?

This is a question that has been asked since the first PACS were installed in the early 1990’s. There are basically two schools of thought on this question; 1. Select an R.T. to manage the system and services and get him or her necessary IT training. Or 2. Select an IT resource and get them the required Radiology and PACS training.

Either way this hybrid IT / Radiologic Technologist resource must have knowledge specific to both Radiology practices and workflow along with a strong IT background. I’ve had this discussion with Radiology personnel and IT guys from all over the US. The answer is always different. Most R.T.’s that work in the RIS or PACS environment believe that these systems should be managed by an R.T. Most IT guys who work in a RIS or PACS environment say, “It’s just another clinical system and does not require Radiology specific knowledge”.

Luckily today we have a certification for just about everything…and you guessed it; there are at least 20 legitimate programs here in the US where an IT guy interested in Radiology or and R.T. interested in Information Technology can earn a certification in PACS Administration. There is also the new Certified Imaging and Informatics Professional (CIIP) certification administered by the American Board of Imaging and Informatics (ABII) that will hopefully put and end to the debate of ‘Who do we choose to manage the PACS’ and set the standard for PACS Administrators.”

As a Registered R.T. and one of the first in the US to earn the CIIP certificate, I believe that the PACS Administrator position should have the following initial requirements; minimum 5-6 years Radiology w/PACS experience and the CIIP certification or demonstrated clear plans to earn their CIIP certificate within one year.

What do you think? Who should be the PACS Administrator?

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