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Towards a theory of PACS deployment: an integrative PACS maturity framework.

Wetering, R. van de, Batenburg, R. Towards a theory of PACS deployment: an integrative PACS maturity framework. Journal of Digital Imaging: 2014, 27(3), p. 337-350.
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Owing to large financial investments that go along with the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) deployments and inconsistent PACS performance evaluations, there is a pressing need for a better understanding of the implications of PACS deployment in hospitals. We claim that there is a gap in the research field, both theoretically and empirically, to explain the success of the PACS deployment and maturity in hospitals. Theoretical principles are relevant to the PACS performance; maturity and alignment are reviewed from a system and complexity perspective. A conceptual model to explain the PACS performance and a set of testable hypotheses are then developed. Then, structural equation modeling (SEM), i.e. causal modeling, is applied to validate the model and hypotheses based on a research sample of 64 hospitals that use PACS, i.e. 70 % of all hospitals in the Netherlands. Outcomes of the SEM analyses substantiate that the measurements of all constructs are reliable and valid. The PACS alignment-modeled as a higher-order construct of five complementary organizational dimensions and maturity levels-has a significant positive impact on the PACS performance. This result is robust and stable for various sub-samples and segments. This paper presents a conceptual model that explains how alignment in deploying PACS in hospitals is positively related to the perceived performance of PACS. The conceptual model is extended with tools as checklists to systematically identify the improvement areas for hospitals in the PACS domain. The holistic approach towards PACS alignment and maturity provides a framework for clinical practice. (aut.ref.)