n SA Journal of Radiology - Talking PACS : part 1 - what is PACS? : review article

Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1027-202X
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6778



Medical image generating departments, typically radiology and nuclear medicine, have always been burdened by image management problems. Image management is the administration of imaging examination requests, the performance of imaging examinations, the distribution of the images and reports, the archiving of examinations and results and the retrieval of previous examinations and results. This is a very resource-intensive responsibility dependent on a long chain of human interaction that often fails.

Within both the public and private sectors this is a real problem. In the public sector increased efficiency is required to decrease the waiting lists and improve patient care. In the private sector improved productivity is required to increase the revenue generated by the same amount of human and financial resources. The solution is to embrace digital image management.
The solution does not lie within a single information system, but rather the tight integrations of four parts: digital imaging equipment, PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System), RIS (Radiological Information System) and HIS (Hospital Information System)
This article aims to demystify some of the acronyms commonly used and explain their practical role within the classic imaging department.

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