The Medical Information, Communication and Archive System (MICAS) is a multi-vendor incremental approach to PACS. MICAS is a multi-modality integrated image management system that incorporates the radiology information system (RIS) and radiology image database (RID) with future 'hooks' to other hospital databases. Even though this approach to PACS is more risky than a single-vendor turn-key approach, it offers significant advantages. The vendors involved in the initial phase of MICAS are IDX Corp., ImageLabs, Inc. and Digital Equipment Corp (DEC). The network architecture operates at 100 MBits per sec except between the modalities and the stackable intelligent switch which is used to segment MICAS by modality. Each modality segment contains the acquisition engine for the modality, a temporary archive and one or more diagnostic workstations. All archived studies are available at all workstations, but there is no permanent archive at this time. At present, the RIS vendor is responsible for study acquisition and workflow as well as maintenance of the temporary archive. Management of study acquisition, workflow and the permanent archive will become the responsibility of the archive vendor when the archive is installed in the second quarter of 1998. The modalities currently interfaced to MICAS are MRI, CT and a Howtek film digitizer with Nuclear Medicine and computed radiography (CR) to be added when the permanent archive is installed. There are six dual-monitor diagnostic workstations which use ImageLabs Shared Vision viewer software located in MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine, musculoskeletal reading areas and two in Radiology's main reading area. One of the major lessons learned to date is that the permanent archive should have been part of the initial MICAS installation and the archive vendor should have been responsible for image acquisition rather than the RIS vendor. Currently an archive vendor is being selected who will be responsible for the management of the archive plus the HIS/RIS interface, image acquisition, modality work list manager and interfacing to the current DICOM viewer software. The next phase of MICAS will include interfacing ultrasound, locating servers outside of the Radiology LAN to support the distribution of images and reports to the clinical floors and physician offices both within and outside of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) campus and the teaching archive.