DICOM Modality Worklist makes patient demographic information, order details and scheduling information from a RIS available at a modality, eliminating dual data entry and guaranteeing data integrity. The order is typically identified with an order placer number and order filler number, however, these numbers do not have a meaning in the context of a radiology exam. The key that identifies the order is the Accession Number, which is copied from the worklist to the image header and is used by a radiologist to identify the diagnostic report. When a report is received by the RIS, it will link this with the order using the Accession Number.
When a patient has multiple exams scheduled at the hospital, it is a challenge to connect the performed exam with the order number, or the Accession number. Most institutions require the Accession Number at a radiology workstation, so that the diagnostic report can be related to the performed examination.
This Accession number, although required by the DICOM standard to be provided with the images, is not always available. Some vendors don’t even allow for this number to be entered at the modality. Having an IS interface allows this number to be retrieved and to be sent with the images.
While retrieving the schedule information from the Radiology Information System, the Modality Worklist allows the images to be uniquely identified with keys matching the images with the radiology order and diagnostic reports. The schedule shall be retrieved using as a minimum the following Keys: Accession number, Patient Name and Patient ID.