Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is driving the use of standards forward to solve healthcare integration challenges. At RSNA, IHE has developed healthcare interoperability demonstrations that illustrate how integrated radiology workflows can work between institutions and applications.
Health Imaging & IT published an article entitled New Standards to Help with Interoperability about how DICOM and HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) work together to solve healthcare integration issues. As the article states, “Since referring physicians commonly use systems with HL7 rather than DICOM capabilities, DICOM and HL7 working groups recognized the need to work together to define a standard methods for reporting that meet the needs of the real worlds.”
When a radiologist receives an order to render an interpretation, the clinical history of the patient started before that order was generated. The clinical history typically will be recorded as a text-based file in a physician’s office. For the radiologist to have the patient’s complete health picture, the clinical data required for the order and the ultimate patient report needs to be delivered electronically as text.
HL7 is the standard that delivers that patient’s clinical background to the radiologist. Incorporating the clinical data with images in one patient report can be accomplished by using the HL7 CDA or DICOM SR standards. Healthcare standards continue to offer choices to healthcare providers, which opens the door for inconsistency of clinical exchanges.
IHE is facilitating the discussion and adoption of standards for radiology practices. RSNA is one arena where these conversations are occurring between vendors and providers.
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