Picture Archiving and Communication System in Healthcare

Picture Archiving and Communication System in Healthcare

Carrison K.S. Tong (Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Tseung Kwan O Hospital, Hong Kong) and Eric T.T. Wong (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch068
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Radiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the diagnostic and therapeutic applications of radiation. It is often used in X-rays in the diagnosis and treatment of a disease. Filmless radiology is a method of digitizing traditional films into electronic files that can be viewed and saved on a computer. This technology generates clearer and easier-to-read images, allowing the patient the chance of a faster evaluation and diagnosis. The time saved may prove to be a crucial element in the patient’s treatment process. With filmless radiology, images taken from various medical sources can be manipulated to enhance resolution, increasing the clarity of the image. Images can also be transferred internally within departments and externally to other locations such as the office of the patient’s doctor. This is made possible through the picture-archiving and communication system (PACS; Dreyer, Mehta, & Thrall, 2001), which electrsonically captures, transmits, displays, and saves images into digital archives for use at any given time. The PACS functions as a state-of-theart repository for long-term archiving of digital images, and includes the backup and bandwidth to safeguard uninterrupted network availability. The objective of the picture-archiving and scommunications system is to improve the speed and quality of clinical care by streamlining radiological service and consultation. With instant access to images from virtually anywhere, hospital doctors and clinicians can improve their work processes and speed up the delivery of patient care. Besides making film a thing of the past, the likely benefits would include reduced waiting times for images and reports, and the augmented ability of clinicians since they can get patient information and act upon it much more quickly. The creation of a permanent, nondegradable archive will eliminate the loss of film and so forth. Today, the growing importance of PACS on the fight against highly infectious disease is also identified.

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