Image and report sharing (vendor neutral index)

Author(s): Dr Neelam Dugar

Hospital: Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 508, 17-18


As the science of medicine becomes more complex, patients are increasingly being treated in clinical networks (rather than in one single institution), eg cancer networks, trauma networks etc. Therefore instant access to images within regional cancer networks is essential for safe patient care. Radiology images are stored within each NHS hospital within their local PACS archive.

It is essential that access to images and reports happens across a clinical network irrespective of a PACS vendor. This is where the role of interoperability standards becomes really important. Oncologists who are managing patients from an entire regional cancer network should not simply be limited to reviewing the images and reports within their own institution. They should be able to instantaneously review the images from a neighbouring hospital from which the patient may have been referred. A recent survey by the Royal College of Radiologists expresses frustrations by radiologists and oncologists who are unable to access images and reports for their patients from their neighbouring institutions in the vast majority of cases. Effective instantaneous patient-centric access to images will improve patient safety.

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