Healthc Inform Res.  2019 Oct;25(4):324-331. 10.4258/hir.2019.25.4.324.

PACS Implementation Challenges in a Public Healthcare Institution: A South African Vendor Perspective

  • 1Department of Telehealth, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Conventional radiological processes have been replaced by digital images and information technology systems within South Africa and other developing countries. Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) technology offers many benefits to institutions, medical personnel and patients; however, the implementation of such systems can be a challenging task. It has been documented that South Africa has been using PACS for more than a decade in public hospitals with moderate success. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the PACS challenges endured by PACS vendors during implementation in the South African public healthcare sector.
This was achieved by engaging in a methodological approach that was qualitative in nature collecting data through semi structured interviews from 10 PACS experts/participants which were later analysed qualitatively.
The findings show that PACS vendors have countless challenges, some of which include space, insufficient infrastructure, image storage capacity, system maturity and vendor related concerns. It was clear that the PACS experts readily offered contextually appropriate descriptions of their encounters during PACS implementations in South African public healthcare institutions.
PACS vendors anticipate these challenges when facing a public healthcare institution and it is recommended that the hospital management and potential PACS stakeholders be made aware of these challenges to mitigate their effects and aid in a successful implementation.


Radiology Information Systems; Medical Informatics; Medical Informatics Computing; Information Storage and Retrieval; Radiography

MeSH Terms

Delivery of Health Care*
Developing Countries
Health Care Sector
Hospitals, Public
Information Storage and Retrieval
Medical Informatics
Medical Informatics Computing
Radiology Information Systems
South Africa
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