Image and report distribution on the Internet.Radiol Manage. 1996 May-Jun; 18(3):25-32.RM
The Internet links together millions of computers to share a wide variety of information--words, sounds and images--which makes it ideally suited for applications in diagnostic imaging departments. Timely availability of patient information is critical to patient care. In the form of a report, image or both, information is the final product of every imaging department. Internet applications can allow physicians easy access to and review of patient information. Many imaging departments already have the basic components of Internet technology in place, which may include an existing image distribution network. At the University of Kansas Medical Center (UKMC), we had a good network base and digital digitation and distribution system, but had not found an appropriate PACS for image distribution and display. When a home page was designed for the radiology department at UKMC, it was intended for report distribution. However, we quickly discovered that it could also function as a low-cost/low-resolution image distribution system. Before making confidential patient information accessible on the Internet, appropriate information security requirements must be in place. At UKMC, access is strictly controlled through the medical records department. Programmers in the radiology department at UKMC are also using the Internet to develop applications for on-line review, editing and electronic signature. Early experience with the Internet as a basis for radiology image and report distribution has been extremely successful and popular with referring physicians at UKMC.