Picture Archiving and Communications System

Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) refers to a computer system that is used in Healthcare to capture, store, distribute and display medical images for interpretation or review. Electronic images and reports are transmitted digitally via PACS.  PACS consists of four major components:

  • The imaging modalities such as X-Ray, CT, MRI, Ultra Sound, Nuclear Medicine
  • A secure network to transmit patient information
  • Work stations for interpreting and reviewing images
  • Long- and short-term archives to store and retrieve images and reports

Combined with available and emerging web technology, PACS can deliver timely and efficient access to images, interpretations and related data. Our PACS is further strengthened by the integration with our hospital Radiology Information System (RIS), the Hospital Information System (HIS), and our Voice Recognition System.

Patient Care Impact

The benefits of PACS are:

  • Images can be digitally enhanced and manipulated for better diagnosis
  • As patients move between different healthcare facilities, their images are accessible at multiple organizations. This reduces the need for a patient to be re-imaged
  • Easier access to historical patient images aides the radiologists  in performing a more comprehensive interpretation
  • PACS allows for accurate identification of patient exams, and associated clinical data. This along with the high level of integration to the reporting system, reduces the potential for reporting errors

Beyond Radiology

PACS is not only limited to radiology. As more departments are producing medical images nowadays, the need for storage/retrieval solutions become necessary for those departments as well and PACS can easily accommodate them. These departments include:

  • Cardiology
  • Pathology
  • Oncology
  • Dentistry


  • As of September 2017, LHSC announced the adoption of a new PACS system for the regional PACS undertaking
  • “Regional PACS”: Though PACS has been a great solution for Radiology departments over the last decade, continuing advances in software and hardware have allowed healthcare manufacturers to create new PACS systems that are more robust and improve accessibility across an entire province and beyond


Education Materials

  • PACS Known Issues and Resolutions
  • Frequently Asked Questions