What is DICOM Compatibility?

What is DICOM Compatibility?

DICOM stands for Digital Imaging Communications in Medicine. Developed by the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) in 1993, it is the international standard for medical image transmission and storage. DICOM is the universal language of medical imaging and, as such, it is required by law to be used for all medical imaging.

What Does DICOM Do?

DICOM is accepted in the field as a way to simplify the development of all medical imaging. There are many functions of DICOM, however, not all software will (or needs to be) compliant to them all. Most products will advertise their level of compatibility to show what they are capable of. “DICOM-Compatibility” simply means that different users of different imaging devices will be able to smoothly exchange information. There are five core DICOM functions considered important for radiology.

Send: The ability to send DICOM images to another compliant software.

Receive/Store: The ability to receive images from a send compliant software and save them.

Worklist: The ability to receive patient data from another worklist compliant system. This is usually used to send scheduled patient information to the software controlling a Digital Radiography (DR) or Computed Radiography (CR) system.

Query/Retrieve: The ability to view an image from a central database on another computer

Print: The ability to send information to a DICOM printer, in order to print an “X-Ray” film.

Do your devices come with DICOM features pre-installed?

Many practice management systems do not come with DICOM installed by default. At JPI we bundle our products with our trademark ExamVue software, which unlocks all of the provided capability. This deal gives your new installation the ability to communicate with other DICOM enabled software. You may have to pay extra to other companies to get the most out of other software but that’s not the case with JPI. At JPI Healthcare Solutions, we strive to make your transition to digital not only affordable, but also user-friendly too.

Computed Radiography (CR) vs. Digital Radiography (DR): Which Should You Choose?

Computed Radiography (CR) vs. Digital Radiography (DR)

Which Should You Choose?

When deciding how to modernize your practice with the use of digital radiography it is important that research be done into which way would be best for your clinic. In the choice between Computed Radiography and Digital Radiography you need to weigh the abilities of each, and the needs you wish to satisfy.

What is Computed Radiography (CR) ?

Computed Radiography — or CR for short —  is the use of a Phosphor Imaging Plate to create a digital image. CR uses a cassette based system like analog film and is more commonly  considered to be a bridge between classical radiography and the increasingly popular fully digital methods.

Often considered the most initially cost friendly choice, CR is used almost exactly like conventional film, and so requires few changes to your office or workflow, and requires a smaller initial investment compared to DR devices of similar quality. CR systems also do not speed up your workflow in the same way as a DR panel and can require more maintenance. CR cassettes may additionally run the risk of getting damaged if improperly stored or handled, but are much cheaper to replace if dropped than a wireless DR panel.

Pros

  • Low initial investment
  • Compatible with a wide range of traditional systems
  • Effective for smaller or low volume clinics
  • Multiple sizes allow for greater flexibility

Cons

  • Long time to view image
  • Risk of overexposure
  • High Maintenance

What is Digital Radiography (DR)?

Digital Radiography (DR) is the latest advancement to the radiography field, using a digital x-ray detector to automatically acquire images and transfer them to a computer for viewing. This system is additionally capable of fixed or mobile use.

While it is the more expensive option, the Digital Radiography system comes to the table with much higher efficiency and quality that more than justifies the price for many users. Given its high volume capabilities it is often the choice for larger or busier clinics.

Pros

  • Faster image acquisition
  • Better quality images
  • High volume capacity
  • Greater dose efficiency [for Cesium Iodide (CsI) panels]

Cons

  • More expensive initial costs
  • Requires protection from dropping or mishandling
  • Protection cover is recommended if panel will be removed from the bucky tray or table