Can radiologic images be incorporated into the electronic patient record?
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As radiology makes advances toward filmlessness, all of medicine is headed, just as rapidly, toward paperless transmission of patient information. While there are obvious advantages to this electronic approach, and several standards to conform to for the transmission of textual (Health Level 7 [HL-7]) and image (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine [DICOM]) data, it is the integration of these two data sets that is clinically essential and yet poorly defined. This report defines an approach for, and the successful implementation of, the integration of radiologic image data with textual data contained within the electronic patient record (EPR) through the use of standard internet protocols. Incorporation of medical images in the EPR has proven to be critical to the successful deployment of picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and the reduction of film consumption at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Since the installation of the first internet-based Image Data Repository (IDR) at MGH in 1995, the system has adequately served to meet the needs of clinical requests by both radiology-only browser users and users of the EPR. It has drastically reduced the need for film and provided concurrent display of images and text throughout the institution and beyond. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A00RM031 00009
KeywordsMassachusetts General Hospital Electronic Patient Record Radiology Information System Electronic Data Interchange Medical Record Number
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