This review sets out the current position with regard to the implementation of PACS throughout the United Kingdom and the impact this has had on improving patient care. In December 2007 England had implemented full hospital-wide PACS in all hospitals: a major achievement in the relatively short time period of three years. The different approaches used by each country of the UK to achieve full national PACS are described in addition to the current issues with the sharing of images and reports across different healthcare organisations with regard to technical solutions, clinical safety and governance. The review gives insight into the changing methods of service delivery to address increasing demand pressures on diagnostic imaging services and how the national PACS implementation, specifically in England, has made a significant contribution to measures to improve efficiencies. The role of Teleradiology is discussed in the context of supporting local patient services rather than undermining them and the concept of cross-healthcare reporting 'Grids' is described. Finally, in the summary it is recognised that the vast wealth of knowledge accumulated during the national implementations has placed the UK in a strong position to facilitate full national data sharing across all healthcare organisations to improve patient care.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.