We help health care providers choose the right picture archiving and communications system (PACS) so they can store images and transmit image data. How does it work?

PACS Systems


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drchrono EHR logo
 
drchrono EHR is a patient care platform that offers customization at the point of care and on the go. In addition to EHR, drchrono also includes scheduling, billing and patient reminders. It is available on iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Healthcare... Read More
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drchrono EHR is a patient care platform that offers customization at the point of care and on the go. In addition to EHR, drchrono also includes scheduling, billing and patient reminders. It is available on iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Healthcare... Read More
 
PrognoCIS by Bizmatics logo
 
PrognoCIS is a cloud-based ICD-10 compliant and MU certified EMR solution which helps medical facilities and practitioners to manage patient medical recording. The software comprises of integrated modules for EHR, Practice Management,... Read More
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PrognoCIS is a cloud-based ICD-10 compliant and MU certified EMR solution which helps medical facilities and practitioners to manage patient medical recording. The software comprises of integrated modules for EHR, Practice Management,... Read More
 
Compulink logo
 
A leading provider of highly customizable, ONC Certified EHR and practice management software, Compulink features a broad set of functionality from patient scheduling to picture arching for specialty practices.
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A leading provider of highly customizable, ONC Certified EHR and practice management software, Compulink features a broad set of functionality from patient scheduling to picture arching for specialty practices.
 
WebPT logo
 
WebPT offers picture archiving as part of its EMR and documentation software. It is designed specifically for physical therapists, but can be used by sports medicine, occupational medicine and speech therapy practices.
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WebPT offers picture archiving as part of its EMR and documentation software. It is designed specifically for physical therapists, but can be used by sports medicine, occupational medicine and speech therapy practices.
 
CGM Clinical logo
 
CompuGroup Medical (CGM), creators of CGM Clinical, was established 25 years ago by a computer scientist who recognized how beneficial improved technology systems could be fore the healthcare sector. He worked to develop a streamlined... Read More
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CompuGroup Medical (CGM), creators of CGM Clinical, was established 25 years ago by a computer scientist who recognized how beneficial improved technology systems could be fore the healthcare sector. He worked to develop a streamlined... Read More

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MedEZ logo
 
MedEZ is an electronic health record (EHR) and billing suite suitable for most medical facilities, particularly behavioral health centers and substance abuse rehabilitation programs. On-premise and cloud-based deployments are available. MedEZ... Read More
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MedEZ is an electronic health record (EHR) and billing suite suitable for most medical facilities, particularly behavioral health centers and substance abuse rehabilitation programs. On-premise and cloud-based deployments are available. MedEZ... Read More
 
PIMSY EHR logo
 
PIMSY EHR is a fully certified electronic health record (EHR) system as well as practice management for midsize companies. The solution offers industry-specific features and the flexibility to customize the system to match each organization's... Read More
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PIMSY EHR is a fully certified electronic health record (EHR) system as well as practice management for midsize companies. The solution offers industry-specific features and the flexibility to customize the system to match each organization's... Read More
 
RevolutionEHR logo
 
RevolutionEHR is a cloud-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution built specifically for optometry practices. Because it is cloud-based, RevolutionEHR is always conveniently available to physicians and practitioners, whenever... Read More
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RevolutionEHR is a cloud-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution built specifically for optometry practices. Because it is cloud-based, RevolutionEHR is always conveniently available to physicians and practitioners, whenever... Read More
 
Insight EMR and Billing by Clinicient logo
 
Clinicient offers a complete and customizable practice management and billing suite. Ideal for practices specializing in PT, OT, and SLP, it offers the option of handling billing internally or utilizing their billing services.
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Clinicient offers a complete and customizable practice management and billing suite. Ideal for practices specializing in PT, OT, and SLP, it offers the option of handling billing internally or utilizing their billing services.
 
ClinicTracker Connect logo
 
ClinicTracker offers a picture archiving system as part of its EMR and practice management suite. It's designed for mental health (psychologists and psychiatrists), substance abuse centers, behavioral health and billing services.
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ClinicTracker offers a picture archiving system as part of its EMR and practice management suite. It's designed for mental health (psychologists and psychiatrists), substance abuse centers, behavioral health and billing services.

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Modernizing Medicine's EMA™ EHR System logo
 
With the ability to capture and store photos, Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA) from Modernizing Medicine is a technologically adept system that helps physicians manage their clinical documentation and save time.
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With the ability to capture and store photos, Electronic Medical Assistant (EMA) from Modernizing Medicine is a technologically adept system that helps physicians manage their clinical documentation and save time.
 
Office Practicum logo
 
Office Practicum by Connexion Software delivers an integrated EHR and practice management system with image capture and storage capabilities, as well as immunization tracking and growth chart functionality.
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Office Practicum by Connexion Software delivers an integrated EHR and practice management system with image capture and storage capabilities, as well as immunization tracking and growth chart functionality.
 
Harmony e/Notes logo
 
Harmony e/Notes combines radiology information systems and picture archiving systems in an integrated suite with billing, scheduling and EMR software. It can be used by many types of specialties in medium-sized practices.
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Harmony e/Notes combines radiology information systems and picture archiving systems in an integrated suite with billing, scheduling and EMR software. It can be used by many types of specialties in medium-sized practices.
 
Qualifacts CareLogic Enterprise logo
 
Qualifacts’ web-based CareLogic Enterprise caters specifically to behavioral healthcare organizations with 20+ users. The integrated suite includes picture archiving alongside its EHR, billing and scheduling capabilities.
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Qualifacts’ web-based CareLogic Enterprise caters specifically to behavioral healthcare organizations with 20+ users. The integrated suite includes picture archiving alongside its EHR, billing and scheduling capabilities.
 
CureMD logo
 
Trusted by thousands of physicians across the United States, CureMD SMART Cloud has staked its claim as an award-winning network offering cutting-edge, certified EHR, practice management, patient portal and revenue cycle management.... Read More
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Trusted by thousands of physicians across the United States, CureMD SMART Cloud has staked its claim as an award-winning network offering cutting-edge, certified EHR, practice management, patient portal and revenue cycle management.... Read More

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Quick Charts Complete logo
 
Quick Charts Complete, by DB Consultants, Inc. is a medical practice software developed for the Chiropractic industry. Chiropractic practices of small to scaling sizes can tailor the solution to accommodate their needs. Core functionalities... Read More
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Quick Charts Complete, by DB Consultants, Inc. is a medical practice software developed for the Chiropractic industry. Chiropractic practices of small to scaling sizes can tailor the solution to accommodate their needs. Core functionalities... Read More
 
myEvolv by Netsmart logo
 
myEvolv by Netsmart is an integrated EHR solution that incorporates a robust accounts receivable/accounts payable sub-ledger directly within the system. The software is ideal for community health centers as well as behavioral & mental... Read More
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myEvolv by Netsmart is an integrated EHR solution that incorporates a robust accounts receivable/accounts payable sub-ledger directly within the system. The software is ideal for community health centers as well as behavioral & mental... Read More
 
MaximEyes logo
 
MaximEyes, developed by First Insight, is an EHR and practice management system that can be accessed via private secure cloud or an a local server. MaximEyes is compatible with connected mobile devices, including Apple and Android... Read More
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MaximEyes, developed by First Insight, is an EHR and practice management system that can be accessed via private secure cloud or an a local server. MaximEyes is compatible with connected mobile devices, including Apple and Android... Read More
 
MedWorxs Evolution logo
 
MedWorxs Evolution offers built in document management and scanning in its integrated electronic health record and practice management solution. It's 2011/2012 ONC-ATCB certified, web-based and best for small and medium offices.
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MedWorxs Evolution offers built in document management and scanning in its integrated electronic health record and practice management solution. It's 2011/2012 ONC-ATCB certified, web-based and best for small and medium offices.
 
PatientClick Suite logo
 
PatientClick is a web-based EHR system with an advanced Picture Archiving and Communications feature. It supports almost all image formats, including JPG, TIF, GIF and PDF. It can be deployed on a number of platforms and devices.
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PatientClick is a web-based EHR system with an advanced Picture Archiving and Communications feature. It supports almost all image formats, including JPG, TIF, GIF and PDF. It can be deployed on a number of platforms and devices.
 

Buyer's Guide

by Gaby Loria,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: April 25, 2017


A Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) is used in digital radiography to manage the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of DICOM images (i.e., X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans). A picture archiving and communication system is often used in conjunction with a Radiology Information System (RIS) to efficiently execute the radiology workflow.

The picture archiving and communications systems market is fairly large and complex. There are a number of software companies and medical device manufacturing companies developing PACS for all sizes of medical organizations and all types of specialists. The result is a market that is fragmented and potentially confusing to buyers. We’ve assembled this guide of the PACS market to help buyers know where to begin their initial research and comparison. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Picture Archiving and Communications Systems Software?
Deployment Strategies
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Picture Archiving and Communications Systems Software?

If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then picture archiving and communications systems may give the Library of Congress a run for their money. PACS programs are used in digital radiography to store, manipulate and distribute images. The universal standard format for these images is DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine), and they may include X-Rays, MRIs, CAT scans or ultrasounds.  

A PACS consists of four major components: the image modality such as MRI or CT, the network by which images and patient information are securely transmitted, the individual client workstations for viewing images and a database for storing image data. Web-based or Web-enabled systems will allow for the distribution of image data across a distributed network of provider organizations. 

Deployment Strategies

Picture archiving and communications systems are often implemented as standalone systems. They may be sold along with an imaging device by vendors such as GE or Philips, or may be sold separately by software vendors. PACS will often need to be integrated with electronic medical records (EMR) systems, but these are rarely sold together since buyer needs vary so much and the timeframes for purchasing can be very different. Finally, radiology centers often purchase PACS integrated with radiology information systems (RIS) to have one integrated package to manage images and corresponding clinical patient data. 

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before you can evaluate picture archiving and communications systems, you’ll need to know what type of buyer you are. We have found that almost all buyers fall into one of the following three categories:

Hospitals. These buyers typically have very robust needs for the storage and efficient retrieval of lots of images. Due to the varying nature of care provided, they need a flexible system that can be accessible from multiple departments or locations. 

Midsized and large outpatient practices. These buyers work for private practices with robust enough imaging needs to warrant a formal PACS. These practices typically have multiple physicians on staff specializing in orthopedics, cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology and other image-intensive specialties. 

Radiology centers. These buyers typically process a high volume of images and require a robust system. They will often purchase a RIS and PACS as an integrated suite, although they may buy either system on a standalone basis. 

Benefits and Potential Issues

PACS are designed to benefit both clinical and administrative staff by storing and manipulating images and making them easily accessible to appropriate staff members. Because of this, users should expect the following benefits when adopting a formal PACS:

  • Efficiency. Organizations should be able to eliminate most or all of the hassle associated with printing images, storing them in folders, transporting them and retrieving them. PACS enables all of these process to be accomplished much more quickly and efficiently, reducing a lot of bottlenecks experienced at hospitals and other busy imaging centers. 
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  • Security. Data encryption techniques can ensure data security and patient privacy much better than physical images and paper charts. Buyers should expect HIPAA-compliant systems and user-level password protection. 
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  • ROI. As with all technology, buyers should be aware of the potential issues, costs and return on investment as well. Buyers will want to make sure that their selected PACS vendor offers necessary data backup and encryption technologies. The critical metric for any PACS system is that the costs to store, review and retrieve images go down. The costs associated with these tasks can be far-reaching, ranging from the staff required for repetitive tasks of putting away and pulling images, the time spent manually reviewing series of images and the direct costs of paper, shelving and other materials required to store physical images. Buyers should also expect to improve their ability to properly assess images and draw conclusions due to image viewing and annotation tools built into most PACS. 

Market Trends to Understand

Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS applications have become very popular in enterprise computing and the healthcare market. Due to the distributed nature of many PACS users, SaaS can be a suitable option to many organizations. They can make it much easier to share images without complex network infrastructure. 

Mobile applications. As physicians and other healthcare providers accomplish more on the go, the use of mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads has grown quickly. Many vendors are reacting to this trend and making systems accessible from handheld devices. 

EMR adoption. Although not a substitute for PACS, government legislation requiring eligible providers to implement EMRs could potentially impact PACS purchases. Most organizations will need a picture archiving communications system with an HL7 interface to enable integration, or may even try to use a robust EMR to meet their image storage needs if they are not very complex.

The Vendor Landscape

While the picture archiving and communications systems landscape is highly fragmented and may at first appear confusing, the available solutions are differentiated by their appeal to the different buyer types.

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Hospitals GE, McKesson, Philips
Mid-sized and large outpatient practices Sage Intergy, GE, Medics PACS
Radiology centers Ingenix, Sage Intergy, Medics PACS

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