Picture Archiving and Communication System Components and Workflow

This chapter discusses the basic components of PACS, namely the general architecture, requirements, and functions of the system. The chapter shows how the current clinical PACS architectures—stand-alone, client/server, and Web-based—illustrate the three prevailing PACS operation concepts. The chapter ends with consideration of teleradiology with regard to PACS and enterprise PACS. Figure 7.1 shows how the topics of this chapter are positioned with relation to other chapter topics of Part II.


The major components in PACS consist of an image and data acquisition gateway, a PACS server and archive, and several display workstations (WSs) integrated together by digital networks. PACS can be further connected with other healthcare information systems by database gateways and communication networks as shown in Figure 7.2.

7.1.1 Data and Image Acquisition Gateways

PACS acquires images sent from imaging modalities (devices) and related patient data from the hospital information system (HIS) and the radiology information system (RIS). There are two types of gateways (GW) to the PACS server and archive, the database GW (Fig 7.2, green) for textual data, and the image acquisition GW (Fig. 7.2, yellow) for imaging data. A major task in PACS is to acquire images reliably and in a timely manner from each radiological imaging modality via the acquisition GW, and relevant patient data, including study ...

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