The PACSman Pontificates: Part 1, An introduction

2019 02 13 21 09 9034 Cannavo Mike 2019 400

We are way too serious. I peruse's forums almost daily and more often than not, it's all stuff that is way too serious. I understand the need to be serious -- especially stories related to our positions in life -- but does it really always need to be that serious?

The PACSman, Mike Cannavo.The PACSman, Mike Cannavo.

I love the discussions on whether $5 million is enough to retire on or should $10 million be your minimum. It's hard for me to comment on this when my bank balance is $295.41 and my 401(k) is six figures including the decimal point not seven or eight without it.

But then I am not a radiologist and didn't go through 37 years of training to get where you are. When it comes to reading a radiologic study, you da man. When it comes to PACS vendor-neutral archives (VNAs), etc., I'm the man. I just make $400,000-$500,000 (or more) less a year than a rad does and if I'm lucky, I get to take a week off a year -- usually between Christmas and New Year's Eve -- let alone eight to 12 weeks.

And politics. God help us. Radiologists are rabid when it comes to opinions on politics in all shapes and forms. I avoided it like the plague, as I grew up in a house in which my mom was involved in politics and got her teeth kicked in time and again for saying what she actually felt versus what the people wanted to hear. Can you tell the apple didn't fall far from the tree? Yes, I'm not a communist and I do vote, but I wish my candidate "none of the above" would finally run instead of having to choose between the lesser of two evils year after year.

So why the blog again? It's been almost 11 years since I last wrote the PACSMan Pontificates and frankly, it's time. More to the point, there is just too much BS out there that needs balance. Twice during that 11-year period, I worked for vendors and couldn't blog lest my opinions be construed as coming from the people who gave me a steady paycheck.

I get it. Even I don't agree with it, as it's a First Amendment violation. I sure did love the steady paychecks and bennies too, so I bit my tongue. I've been looking for another steady gig for the past year, but I'm too old for most companies. I either know too much or they feel I would be bored or don't have the certifications that magically pop up as a requirement even though they were never presented in the job posting.

I love the interplay in the forums where companies defend their products. "The cloud is stable and being used by all so, "All you need is cloud" (sung to the tune of the Beatles "All you need is love"). "But what if I can't get to the cloud?" I ask innocently relating to wide-area network (WAN) outages and other issues that never ever happen. "That isn't our issue. We are ready when you are."

That's sorta like having a new car, boat/yacht, RV, or other toy and just being able to sit in it and go nowhere because you don't have any gas. But hey, it's not our problem. Right! Thankfully, many radiologists who play golf keep their clubs in the car, so an impromptu foursome isn't out of the question when they can't read studies.

Will there be any sacred cows? Well, what I write is edited, so the answer is maybe, although has always given me incredible leeway in what I say and even how I say it. The vast majority of my blogs will deal with radiology and the radiology marketplace, although an occasional personal reflection will show up now and then.

I have the next three months of posts outlined, but that doesn't mean I can't juggle the schedule if something more important shows up. It's not like an upgrade to the PACS/enterprise imaging system (EIS) when validation needs to be conducted and, if you are lucky, six months later it gets put on the schedule for development and inclusion a year from now. It's always nice to have a going-away present from the vendor at your retirement dinner.

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be a favorite topic (do we really need 200 vendors? Of course we do!), as well as PACS/EIS (put lipstick on a pig and ...), VNAs (is information lifecycle management still a "benefit"), and marketing studies (AI is a $278 billion market! ... in 2074).

You'll also hear my thoughts on my favorite subject: "special" marketing, which is the reason why the PACSMan awards have been among the top 3 most-read stories for RSNA the past 10 years running (and #1) last year.

I'm tanned, I'm rested, and I'm back. The best if yet to come. Stay tuned.

Michael J. Cannavo is known industry-wide as the PACSman. After several decades as an independent PACS consultant, he worked as both a strategic accounts manager and solutions architect with two major PACS vendors. He has now made it back safely from the dark side and is sharing his observations.

His healthcare consulting services for end users include PACS optimization services, system upgrade and proposal reviews, contract reviews, and other areas. The PACSman is also working with imaging and IT vendors developing market-focused messaging as well as sales training programs. He can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 407-359-0191.

The comments and observations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of

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