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Integrate DICOM into Healthcare Information Systems (HIS)

by | May 11, 2011

Transmitting Information via a ‘Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine’ document converter (or DICOM converter)

As you know, when you visit the doctor’s office or a hospital and have to fill out forms before an appointment or upon admission – you frequently have to give the healthcare professionals the same information you’ve given them many times before. Wouldn’t it be nice if the various specialists one might see could all have secure access to a patient’s complete medical records, including scans, lab results, x-rays and doctors notes – so they’re all on the same page?

Health care facilities accessing medical information using a Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine document converter or DICOM converter make this possible. DICOM is the industry standard for exchanging radiologic images, and other medical information. The integration of scanners, servers, document converters, workstations and printers is supported with DICOM. Because a wide variety of document and image file types are used today in addition to DICOM documents, it is valuable to possess a DICOM converter to simplify document operations by converting all documents into a universally readable format.

Healthcare professionals and administrative staff using DICOM converter technology are able to securely access and display any and all patient record information in the DICOM system on-the-fly via a universal document viewer, or by implementing a batch document converter to create a repository of converted files. Electronic medical records accessed either by a viewer or batch document converter may be securely displayed via a Web browser that doesn’t require client-side software installation, giving universal access to information no matter what the original file format may have been.

Several large healthcare facilities have also used Software Development Toolkits (SDKs), such as Snowbound’s RasterMaster SDK, to integrate DICOM converter technology into their Healthcare Information Systems (HIS). Aside from secure and easy access to patient medical records, using an SDK to implement document converter and viewer functionality also gives healthcare providers and administrative staff the ability to better leverage their HIS data through tighter integration of disparate systems for access to records in real-time. Plus, Snowbound’s solutions also help ensure that compliance standards such as HIPAA and HITECH are met by controlling record access to ensure security, and by protecting sensitive information from unauthorized users through redaction capabilities.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) holds the copyright to the DICOM standard which has been widely adopted by hospitals and continues to make inroads in smaller health care facilities such as dentist and doctors’ offices. Patterned after the Open System Interconnection of the International Standards Organization, DICOM enables digital communication between diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and systems from various manufacturers.