This course delves into Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS), covering key hardware components, various architectures, and vendor-specific differences. It addresses PACS’ impact on productivity, explores features like image displays and printing capabilities, and introduces major market vendors and their architectures. By course end, students will grasp PACS fundamentals, including network components, servers, and their implications on productivity.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify key hardware components of PACS architecture, including network components, servers, diagnostic workstations, and printers.
  • List the key functionality of the various PACS components.
  • Differentiate between common PACS architectures such as web-based viewing, integrated web servers, multiple tier archives, the role of specialty workstations, and modalities.
  • Distinguish PACS architectures from different vendors, identifying their similarities and differences.
  • Determine the potential impact of PACS implementation on productivity and approximate the production data rate of a PACS system.

Format/Class Structure

This is a self-paced course, accessible completely online. You can expect to spend about 1 hour completing this course.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is suitable for anyone who wants to gain a solid foundation in PACS and its components, functionality, and implementation considerations. This includes healthcare and IT professionals, healthcare administrators, medical students and residents, and biomedical engineers.

Content Outline

Module 1: Introduction to PACS

  • Definition and major features of PACS
  • Benefits of implementing a PACS system
  • Overview of the major building blocks of PACS

Module 2: PACS Core

  • Components of the PACS core or “backbone”
  • Input queues, image manager, archive, and workflow manager
  • Archive throughput and capacity requirements
  • Archive implementations and protocols
  • High availability, business continuity, and disaster recovery considerations
  • ASP/SSP advantages
  • Data migration strategy and procedures

Module 3: Display/Print

  • Workflow manager and its role in PACS
  • Different types of workstations and their functions
  • Common functions on a viewing station
  • Annotations and key images in a proprietary manner
  • Web viewing and its implications
  • Printing in a PACS environment

Module 4: Commercial Vendors

  • Major vendors in the PACS market
  • Differentiating architectures and features offered by vendors
  • Trends in the PACS market

CE Credit

The Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine has approved this activity for 1.0 hour of SIIM IIP Credits towards certification and re-certification by the American Board of Imaging Informatics (ABII).

To receive credit for the activity, registrants must complete the course modules and survey.

Note: In order to receive credits for any events/learning you attend you must select your eligible credit types found in the CE & Certification section of your MySIIM Account profile.

After registering for the course, navigate to My Learning in your MySIIM Account profile to access the content.

Not a member? Join SIIM today!


  • PACS
  • Training

Credit Amount


Credit Type


Non-Member Cost


Member Cost


Proficiency Level


Delivery Type

  • On-Demand

Audience Type

  • Developer
  • Imaging IT
  • Researcher/Scientist
  • Student Member in Training (SMIT)
  • Vendor


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