Standards for patient confidentiality and RIS and PACS

Date of next review: 

Confidentiality is a cornerstone of medical practice, and forms the foundation of the doctor–patient relationship. There are professional, ethical, contractual and legal obligations to ensure that information entrusted to healthcare professionals remains within a confidential framework, and to ensure that this information is held in a safe and secure manner.

The advent of picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and associated radiology information systems (RIS) brings its own challenges with regard to security but confidentiality in PACS must be maintained on the same basis as any other aspect of the practice of medicine.

Standards for patient confidentiality and RIS and PACS aims to set standards for how patient confidentiality should be maintained with specific regard to the use of PACS. These standards should complement, but not replace, the legal, professional and contractual obligations that already are in existence.