Integrated image storage solutions for the Cath department

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Contemporary Image Storage systems for the Catheterization department manage and distribute digital cardiac images according to the “cine-film” paradigm. The images are digital, but the applications have not changed much. This situation will change in the near future. New systems are being developed to store additional (clinical related)) data with X-ray Angiographic (XA)) Images. Furthermore, the image storage domains are no longer an island in the hospital infrastructure. Efficiency requires the availability of images with other data at the various “point of care” locations. This in turn raises requirements and expectations about the standards in the area of application interoperability, since no single vendor can supply the complete solution. Recent DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine)) standardization activities play an important role in extending the current scope of image oriented storage solutions towards a more integrated imaging and information (clinical)) folder for the Cath department. The paper will address the following issues:

• New requirements on “self-contained” Image Storage solutions for the Cath lab.

• How to deal with the demand for interdepartmental communication using upcoming (new)) DICOM standards and HL7 (Health Level Seven)) in this area.

• The increasing influence of computer technology, replacing vendor-specific solutions by general-accepted standards from the Information Technology (IT)) world.

• A step-wise approach to come to an integrated clinical (patient)) folder with inherent capabilities for data interchange with other Cardiology departments and the hospitals information infrastructure.

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