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Implementing a full-feature PACS solution in accordance with the IHE technical framework

the CHILI approach1
  • Rada Hussein
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to U.E.Rada Hussein, German Cancer Research Center, Division of Medical & Biological Informatics, H0100, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
    Affiliations
    German Cancer Research Center, Division of Medical & Biological Informatics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, in cooperation with the Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Medizinische Informatik, Im Neuenheimer Feld 517, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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  • Uwe Engelmann
    Affiliations
    German Cancer Research Center, Division of Medical & Biological Informatics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, in cooperation with the Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Medizinische Informatik, Im Neuenheimer Feld 517, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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  • Andre Schroeter
    Affiliations
    German Cancer Research Center, Division of Medical & Biological Informatics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, in cooperation with the Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Medizinische Informatik, Im Neuenheimer Feld 517, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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  • Hans-Peter Meinzer
    Affiliations
    German Cancer Research Center, Division of Medical & Biological Informatics, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany, in cooperation with the Steinbeis-Transferzentrum Medizinische Informatik, Im Neuenheimer Feld 517, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
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      Abstract

      Rationale and objectives

      During the last 4 years, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) has worked in establishing a reliable integrated environment for medical imaging devices and other clinical information systems by using existing industry standards such as Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) and Health Level Seven (HL7). Because IHE is organized and driven by professional organizations representing both buyers and vendors, it was able to define a common language for the various health care parties who are involved in the integration process. Thus IHE offers a rigorously organized technical framework that provides a comprehensive guide for a coordinated implementation of information standards.

      Materials and methods

      A multistage plan for incorporating the IHE elements while scaling up general-purpose workstations with teleradiology functionalities to a full-feature picture archiving and communication system (PACS) solution was created. To introduce a pragmatic example, the plan approach was applied to the CHILI workstations (CHILI, Heidelberg, Germany). To implement the proposed plan in making various legacy systems comply with IHE, the effects of available resources and market needs on the plan are discussed. Most implementation challenges and problems were overcome using generic design approaches and well-designed DICOM utilities.

      Results

      On completion of the first stage, the PACS viewer and reporting workstations were IHE-compliant. In addition, the plan facilitates the conformance process while maintaining the planned software development cycle.

      Conclusion

      Based on these positive results and the practical experience acquired during the first stage, further stages will be completed to provide the system with the required plug-and-play interoperability among systems from different vendors.

      Keywords

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