The Radiology picture archiving and communications system also known by the acronym PACS, is a network of computers used by radiology departments that replaces film with electronically generated and stored digital images.

A PACS consists of four major components, the first being the imaging modalities such as X-ray plain film, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Next is a secured network for the transmission of patient information, then workstations for interpreting and reviewing images, and finally an archive for the storage and retrieval of the digital 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 for all referring providers. PACS breaks down the physical and time barriers associated with traditional film-based image retrieval, distribution, and display.

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