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Author: Howard Clark

Electronic Medical Records – Help Needed

Electronic Medical Records – Help Needed

Recently, I visited my internist for the obligatory six-month check up.  In the course of this visit, he reached into my folder and pulled out a paper report of the results from the diagnostic laboratory that had run a battery of blood tests.  Then, to help interpret them, he went back into the folder and searched for the report that had been prepared six months earlier.  He carefully copied select results from that earlier report onto the present paper so we could see how cholesterol Read more [...]
Miscellaneous Dogs and Cats

Miscellaneous Dogs and Cats

This is another one of those “Amazing Fact” kind of stories about the DICOM* Standard.    If a hospital is going to take an X-ray (or MR or CT or Ultrasound scan) of a patient, we expect them to keep a record of the patient’s name and, probably, some identifying number.  They’ll want to know when the procedure was performed, who performed it, who requested it, where to send the results, and a lot of other things.  The DICOM Standard prescribes a very specific way of keeping Read more [...]
DICOM Makes a Difference

DICOM Makes a Difference

What?  It's December 24, 2008 - Christmas Eve, and I just got a present.  It's a book, and I can scarcely read a word of it.  That's because it's a how-to book on DICOM* written in Japanese.  Since I can't read it, there's no point putting in my briefcase to review on the next flight.  Instead, it stands proudly on my bookshelf beside a copy of the DICOM Standard in Chinese.  So what?  What makes me proud is knowing that I play a role in Read more [...]
Amazing Facts about DICOM

Amazing Facts about DICOM

DICOM is the name of a very unusual standard.  You won't be surprised to learn that this name is an acronym for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.  However, you might be surprised to learn that the DICOM Standard: Has proved itself over a 15 year period.  (This standard really works.) Is the world's only standard for medical imaging. Covers virtually every medical specialty that uses imaging. Is expanded and maintained by a network of 26 separate working Read more [...]
Do standards really make a difference?

Do standards really make a difference?

Some recent problems in Mammography make it abundantly clear that they do.  Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) got reports indicating that image quality from a number of full-field digital mammography (FFDM) units was being compromised when their images were displayed on some third-party picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).  Specifically, FDA noted that the image identification information may obscure breast tissue on hard copy images.  As a consequence, Read more [...]
Celebrating DICOM

Celebrating DICOM

Last April, during a banquet in Chengdu, China, members of the DICOM Standards Committee paused for a toast to celebrate the DICOM Standard's 25th anniversary.  Or was it the 15th?  No one really cared.  All agreed that the establishment, in 1983, of the ACR/NEMA Committee (which developed the first, second and third versions of that Standard) was worthy of a toast.  Likewise, they thought it was appropriate to toast the 1993 publication and demonstration of the first truly Read more [...]
DICOM Turns 25 (Or, is it 15?)

DICOM Turns 25 (Or, is it 15?)

Of course, if you don’t know what DICOM is, you probably don’t care whether it turned 25 or 15 – unless you’ve had or might need a CT scan, an electrocardiogram, an MRI, some radiation therapy, an X-ray, or an ultrasound exam.  DICOM, which stands for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine, is the name of an independent, international standard whose primary purpose is to enable each piece of medical imaging equipment to work with other ones – no matter which company manufactured Read more [...]