Informatics in radiology: A prototype Web-based reporting system for onsite-offsite clinician communication.Radiographics. 2007 Jul-Aug; 27(4):1201-11.R
The communication of imaging findings to a referring physician is an important role of the radiologist. However, communication between onsite and offsite physicians is a time-consuming process that can obstruct work flow and frequently involves no exchange of visual information, which is especially problematic given the importance of radiologic images for diagnosis and treatment. A prototype World Wide Web-based image documentation and reporting system was developed for use in supporting a "communication loop" that is based on the concept of a classic "wet-read" system. The proposed system represents an attempt to address many of the problems seen in current communication work flows by implementing a well-documented and easily accessible communication loop that is adaptable to different types of imaging study evaluation. Images are displayed in a native (DICOM) Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine format with a Java applet, which allows accurate presentation along with use of various image manipulation tools. The Web-based infrastructure consists of a server that stores imaging studies and reports, with Web browsers that download and install necessary client software on demand. Application logic consists of a set of PHP (hypertext preprocessor) modules that are accessible with an application programming interface. The system may be adapted to any clinician-specialist communication loop, and, because it integrates radiologic standards with Web-based technologies, can more effectively communicate and document imaging data.