PACS is short for Picture Archiving and Communication System, which is used to retrieve, archive, and process medical images from one or several sources. This system has made the management of images needed to assess and monitor patients easier. Additionally, the use of digital images instead of x-ray films has eliminated the manual filing, storing, and sharing of physical x-rays and relevant reporting information.
PACS is now considered essential for medical practices and healthcare facilities of all sizes. The system consists of both hardware and software components that interface directly with imaging modalities and acquires the digital images from x-ray capture devices, such as a digital flat panel detector. A PACS consists of a hardware imaging machines, secure network for patient images, workstation or mobile device for viewing, and electronic archives.
DICOM, which is an abbreviation for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, was developed as the universal format for PACS image storage and transfer. This is essential for PACS systems to work across different modalities and workstations. Secure hosting of images and documents that can be accessed nearly anywhere in the world using PACS software, viewers, and even mobile devices. Having secure digital access is increasingly significant considering the growing volume of digital medical images in healthcare in the United States and abroad.
PACS systems have been refined over the past decades. These advancements in technology have been increasingly significant to raising the standard of diagnostic care. The benefits of PACS systems are plentiful. Some of these include:
- Reduction of duplicate images for better data management
- Ability to enhance images to provide better diagnostic value
- Secure, image archiving database for better communications
- Allows doctors and radiologists to review previous patient studies
- Can increase scalability and cost savings
If you have specific questions related to PACS or digital x-ray, please feel free to contact us.