Financial assessment of a picture archiving and communication system implemented all at once

J Digit Imaging. 2006;19 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):44-51. doi: 10.1007/s10278-006-0632-6.


The objective of this study was to determine the differential cost between film-based radiology and a hospital-wide picture archiving and communication system (PACS) implemented all at once. The cash flow and running costs of PACS and film-based operation were measured over an 8-year time horizon. When the hospital-wide PACS was implemented over a short period, there was instant conversion into digital film and archives. The net present value (NPV) for PACS operation is US $1,598,698, whereas the NPV for film-based operation is US $2,083,856, indicating a net saving of US $485,157. The payback period is 4 years. The costs of computed radiography and image plates account for 40% of the initial capital expenditure in PACS implementation, followed by computer hardware (30%) and software (9%) costs. Our experience shows that implementation of hospital-wide PACS all at once can produce cost savings. For hospitals intending to go filmless, this study offers a model for financial evaluation of PACS to help in decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Analog-Digital Conversion
  • China
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic*
  • Radiology Information Systems / economics*
  • X-Ray Film