DICOM element deployment proceeds incidentally

September 14, 2005

Deployment of the DICOM Modality Performed Procedure Step Supplement has been much slower than expected, even though most modality and many PACS and RIS systems have implemented it, according to researchers at the Université du Québec.

Deployment of the DICOM Modality Performed Procedure Step Supplement has been much slower than expected, even though most modality and many PACS and RIS systems have implemented it, according to researchers at the Université du Québec.

"There is still a gap between implementation and deployment," said Rita Noumeir, Ph.D., a professor of electrical engineering at the university.

Noumeir is attempting to bridge this gap by describing the advantages of the Performed Procedure Step Supplement (J Digit Imaging 2005 Jul 6; [Epub ahead of print]).

Modality Performed Procedure Step enables more efficient radiology workflow, increases throughput, eliminates redundant data entry, propagates accurate acquisition parameters, facilitates acquisition quality assurance, and allows uncommon workflow management, according to Noumeir.

"It goes beyond simply replacing a RIS workstation with the acquisition modality," Noumeir said.

Rather, it's a modality feedback that propagates the acquisition information to other systems involved in the radiology process, such as the PACS and RIS.

The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise project played a major role in accelerating Modality Performed Procedure Step implementation in modality equipment, PACS, and RIS. In fact, the Modality Performed Procedure Step is a requirement in the most basic IHE profile, the scheduled workflow.

"All vendors that have implemented this basic IHE integration profile have already implemented Modality Performed Procedure Step," she said.

There may be one last barrier to deployment, Noumeir said: In almost all institutions, legacy and new modality equipment operate side by side within a single radiology department, with a single workflow management system.

Legacy modality equipment that does not support the Modality Performed Procedure Step can be integrated within this workflow by delegating the step's creation to either a RIS terminal or a modality relay station. This non-native transaction enables other systems involved in the workflow to operate at their best efficiency level, she said.