A picture archiving and communication system (PACS) is a comprehensive computer system that is responsible for the electronic storage and distribution of medical images in the medical enterprise. The system is highly integrated with digital acquisition and display devices and is often related closely to other medical information systems, such as the radiology information system or hospital information system. In the past few years, there has been continuous growth in clinical implementation of PACS to reduce costs and improve patient care, a trend that is expected to continue. However, a PACS is complex and costly to acquire, replace, maintain, and repair. To select a system that best meets their requirements, purchasers of PACS equipment need to be aware of the key characteristics and differing features of the various products. After the PACS has been installed, the user should perform technical and clinical acceptance testing to ensure that the system meets expectations.
Copyright RSNA, 2004