Abstract We illustrate that to benefit from the advantages of Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the PACS must be strongly integrated within the overall working environment. This includes adaptation of the PACS toward specific working patterns and integrating it with the Hospital Information System (HIS). This is reflected in our prototype system in different ways. The user interface of the viewing station is centered around often used patterns in ICU viewing. Information about bed occupancy is retrieved from the HIS and exploited in the viewing station. A digital connection between the phosphorplate scanner and the HIS ensures that images are correctly related to other patient information and to previous images. Using minor adaptations to the existing HIS, PACS and HIS have been made to cooperate in integrated presentation of images and radiological reports, as a step towards a multimedia medical information system. We discuss the relation between PACS and the global information environment, emphasizing organizational issues rather than technological aspects.