PACS and CR implementation in a Level I Trauma Center Emergency Department

Academic Article


  • Implementation of a picture archive and communication system (PACS) at a large teaching hospital is an expensive and daunting endeavor. The approach taken at the University of Alabama Hospitals has been to assemble an institution-wide system through focused integration of smaller mini-PACS. Recently a mini-PACS using Computed Radiography (CR) has been placed in the Emergency Department (ED) of a Level I Trauma Center completely replacing conventional screen-film radiography. This area of the hospital produces approximately 250 images per day and provides many challenging requirements: the need for rapid radiography; providing good image quality for difficult examinations with potentially uncooperative patients; reproduction of lost films to maintain availability of images to multiple consulting teams; and frequently unknown patient demographics. The PACS includes both vendor-supplied and in-house developed devices for image storage, distribution, and display. Digital images are produced using two photo-stimulable phosphor CR systems. Currently, all radiographic examinations are acquired digitally with production of a hard copy film as well as electronic distribution via the PACS. Interpretation of images is done primarily via hard copy with a goal of transition to soft copy interpretation. This paper discusses the functional requirements of the PACS and solutions to workflow issues arising in the ED.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Junck KL; Berland LL; Bernreuter WK; McEachern M; Grandhi S; Lewey G
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 3 Suppl 1