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Picture Archiving and Communication Systems

Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) is a multi-million-dollar investment in radiology which instantly stores a patient's diagnostic images and makes them available on demand to physicians involved in the patient's care. This state-of-the art system is at both Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital.

"PACS is the most exciting development in radiology right now," said Dr. Prakash Malkani, chairman of the Department of Radiology. "Everything we do in radiology is now simultaneously available to all physicians in the hospital, in the community and to physicians all over the world who have access to a desktop computer."

In addition, the images become part of the patient's secure Electronic Medical Record so that physicians have instant access to their patients' MRI, CT scans, Ultrasounds and all radiological services and can easily compare images of earlier diagnostic studies to a new image.

"If this is a complex case, a physician can now consult with specialists any where, who can view the images on their own desktop computers with a secure log-in system," Dr. Malkani continued. "If the right physicians are talking with each other and they have the right information available to them, we can do wonders in medicine."

Manufactured by GE, PACS is integrated into the hospitals' imaging services - including standard X-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, and Nuclear Medicine - and enables images to be distributed electronically and interpreted by the radiologists on computer workstations. The benefits of a PACS system are key in emergency cases, when accurate information and quick decisions are critical.

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