PACS - picture archiving and communication system


A system which enables images such as x-rays and scans to be stored electronically and viewed on screens, so health professionals can access the information and compare it with previous images more efficiently. PACS offers many advantages in terms of efficiency and time saving for professionals. Specialist training is needed to use the system.


  • The Connecting for Health website brings together current  information on the NHS implementation of PACS to date outlining the experiences of early adopters
  • PACS has been linked to Electronic Patient Record systems and brought in enterprise wide such as seen in this example from the USA

Benefits and advantages

  • By delivering more efficient imaging processes  PACS will speed up the patient journey It removes all the costs associated with hard film and releases space used for storage
  • Can be linked to the electronic patient record
  • Will eliminate problem of lost films

Risks and disadvantages

  • Misuse of email as discussed here
  • Quality of image can not be compromised as will impact upon diagnostic accuracy
  • Systems must have high security to avoid viruses 




Armchair Involvement Guide 2009 

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