The acronym PACS stands for Picture Archival and Communications System and refers to a computer system that is used to capture, store, distribute, and then display medical images. Electronic medical images and reports are transmitted digitally via PACS; this eliminates the need to manually file, retrieve or transport film jackets.
A PACS consists of four major components: the imaging modalities such as CT and MRI, a secured network for the transmission of patient information, workstations for interpreting and reviewing images, and long and short term archives for the storage and retrieval of images and reports.
Combined with available and emerging Web technology, PACS has the ability to deliver timely and efficient access to images, interpretations and related data. PACS breaks down the physical and time barriers associated with traditional film-based image retrieval, distribution and display.