What is PACS and Is It Necessary for Digital Imaging?

What is PACS and Is It Necessary for Digital Imaging?

Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) is a technological innovation that has changed the face of medical services provision across the United States.

Conventional information management processes involved time-consuming paperwork and the maintenance of huge file-rooms which made patient history management and sharing difficult. When medical facilities moved to digital media, there was always the question of how to store the information and PACS made it much easier.

PACS are dedicated information databases, designed specifically for medical institutions, to help improve information flows and workflows within healthcare facilities. With the implementation of PACS, healthcare facilities become much more organized and efficient.

Data Management: The Secret to Healthcare Success

Diagnostic medicine and medical treatment are effectively two different aspects of healthcare provision. Patients’ diagnostic information needs to be transmitted to the relevant healthcare providers before treatment is initiated. The quicker the data is transmitted, the sooner treatment can begin.

PACS systems effectively connect the disparate parts of a healthcare facility, to provide the relevant stakeholders (diagnosticians, doctors, and patients) a common platform of interaction. With faster and error-less information transfers through PACS, healthcare provision becomes much easier, and all the agents involved receive all the relevant information.

Enter PACS and Digital Imaging

With the introduction of digital imaging, healthcare facilities needed a place to store the information. Once captured, digital images are stored on a PACS so that the concerned medical authorities can access the information. Additionally, PACS are equipped with high-quality data security protocols to offer greater privacy to the patient.

Since PACS accommodate digital data, this information is easily transferred across different medical facilities and enables a higher degree of collaboration between each pair of facilities. Ultimately, PACS has laid the foundation for the development of vast networks of healthcare provision through which different medical facilities can coordinate actions with one another.  PACS essentially allows healthcare providers to mobilize more resources and direct their efforts to the benefit of the patient.

Is PACS Necessary for Digital Imaging?

Although healthcare facilities use PACS in collaboration with digital imaging, it’s not necessary to use these with digital imaging facilities. Your digital imaging equipment will still produce high-quality medical imagery it just won’t be stored in a PACS.

You could use other types of storage mediums like your hospital’s dedicated databases/servers. However, because of recent political events, most hospitals and healthcare facilities are required to implement PACS that comply with HIPAA regulations. From a technical standpoint, you might not need to use a PACS, but government regulation requires that you use compliant PACS throughout your facilities.


ExamVue is a provider of digital medical imaging equipment for healthcare facilities. We offer digital x ray detector, X-ray imaging viewing software and PACS solutions for orthopedists, podiatrist and imaging facilities. Speak with us today for more information on our products.



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