A PACS, or picture archiving and communication system, is a medical imaging technology used for storing, retrieving, presenting, and sharing images produced by x-ray. The purpose of a PACS is to store images in one central location and have the ability to access those images on other computers.
Medical practices use PACS for a number of reasons including: showing images to patients in the office environment, working on the images on their own computer(s), and to back up or share their images–to name a few. If you are wondering if you need a PACS, one of the first things you should consider is whether or not you already have access to one. If you are part of a larger medical group or hospital, or have been utilizing digital radiography or computed radiography, you may already have access to one.
If you don’t have access to a PACS, you’ll want to consider whether or not you need a cloud-based system or local PACS. If your needs are on the simpler side of things, and you want something that isn’t going to cost you a monthly or per study fee, you could go with a local PACS.
Additional questions that could help you determine your need for a PACS are:
Do you have a room where you show x-rays to patients?
Would you like to be make a diagnosis with resources in your personal office?
Do you have multiple doctors who want to view images on different computers at the same time?
Is your office too busy for you to view x-rays in the x-ray room?
Would you like to have a second on-site backup of the images you take?
Would you like access to specialized tools that are not available in your acquisition software?
If any of the bulleted questions ring true for you, you’d probably benefit from having a PACS.