Private Practices: You Down Wit' OPP?
Of course, I am referring to Other People's PACS. There are many reasons radiology practices decide to purchase a unified worklist, but the ability to use their customer's PACS is often mentioned as one of the primary reasons. Even if your practice owns a PACS, using your customer's PACS to read their exams can save you significant cash and allow you to read exams much faster when you are on site.
Let’s look at an example. You read 300k exams for a hospital system and you usually have radiologist staffed and reading at the hospital. With a unified worklist, you can have the on-site radiologists use the hospital PACS but if certain exams need to be read off-site (by a subspecialist, after hours or during busy times), those exams get routed to your PACS to read off-site. You can avoid putting the vast majority of exams (and the prior exams) in your PACS at all.
Logistics can also get a bit easier. For example, by reading in your customer's PACS, annotations are saved so exams do not need to be transferred back after you read them. Another advantage is that all priors (not just those deemed to be relevant and routed) are there.
To quote the famous 90's band Naughty by Nature, "When OPP comes, damn skippy I'm with it."