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Program Information

Imaging Informatics 1: Informatics for the Clinical Imaging Physicist: Buying and Testing Equipment for Interoperability

A Walz-Flannigan

J Weiser

A Walz-Flannigan1*, J Weiser2*, (1) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, (2) US Army Medical Res. and Mater. Comm, Ijamsville, MD

TU-A-134-1 Tuesday 8:00AM - 8:55AM Room: 134

1. Buying Imaging Equipment for Interoperability and Compliance: Beyond DICOM
2. Informatics for the Acceptance Testing of Imaging Equipment

For patient service, safety and regulatory compliance, the quality control of image and image information needs to extend beyond the scanner console to encompass the entire imaging chain. Imaging physicists are often the ultimate quality control professionals and technology experts that are responsible for equipment selection and testing. To aid in these tasks, this session is designed to provide the clinical physicist with practical awareness and tools for equipment selection and acceptance testing that promotes interoperability throughout the imaging chain, protecting image and information quality for smooth clinical operation and patient safety.

Whether the physicist is ultimately responsible for delivering a quality and compliant system or is a part of the process, they need to understand data flow and interoperability in the imaging chain. This involves a basic understanding of the system and stakeholders that determine and interact with the imaging chain. Once an imaging chain (or web in some cases) is understood, physicists can benefit from understanding the standards and interoperability profiles that can help in assessing equipment interoperability throughout that chain.

This session will highlight areas where expectations and current reality for interoperability in an imaging practice may not align. It will cover specific examples of common issues that still plague interoperability two decades after the introduction of DICOM 3.0. We’ll discuss relevant questions to ask of vendors when purchasing equipment from a compliance and interoperability standpoint. The second part of the session will cover strategies and suggestions for ensuring a fully-functioning imaging system: what aspects related to interoperability might cause problems and what should be assessed with acceptance testing in order to ensure clinical functionality and patient safety?

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the importance of assessing and testing interoperability for the entire imaging chain when considering or deploying new imaging equipment.
2. Be able to assess the relevant pieces that encompass their clinical imaging chain and the stakeholders involved in configuring, maintaining and using the system.
3. Be aware of common issues with clinical interoperability of imaging equipment
4. Know how to develop, find and use tools for assessing the potential for interoperability prior to purchase and testing after installation.

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