Request and results distribution workflow for radiology within a hospital


This use case supports the workflow related to imaging diagnostic tests performed inside a healthcare institution, for both identified orders and unknown orders, with regard to both identified patients and unidentified or misidentified patients. 


Results from a radiological examination that has been requested should be made available to medical staff members who are working in multiple medical departments within the hospital organisation. This use case ensures the availability of timely, complete and consistent patient information as well as avoidance of potential duplicate testing within the hospital organisation.


In a hospital setting, a physician from a medical department in charge of patient treatment may typically request some form of imaging diagnostics for the specific patient. Ideally, the radiological department receives all the relevant information about the patient's identity, relevant medical information, and the reason for requesting this examination.

The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard has gained broad acceptance in the field: it is a data standard for transmitting medical imaging information as well as complementary clinical information. The degree of complexity implicit in medical imaging has contributed over time to vendorspecific implementations of image archiving technologies in picture archiving and communications (PACS) systems based on the DICOM standard. Therefore, the term of “vendor neutral (image) archives” (VNA) has emerged. These vendor-neutral solutions provide a single, enterprise-wide repository for patient-centric medical images.

Although this specific market trend focuses on the technical aspects of data storage and data management, it also demonstrates the need to support the interoperability of the distribution of imaging information within hospital organisations. 

Diagnostic Study Request
Radiology Study Images
Radiology Report
Specialist – requests the diagnostic study
Radiologist – performs the diagnostic study, and writes the radiology report
GP – general practitioner – receives of requests the results of the diagnostic study
Functional process flow: 
  • A surgeon requests an X-thorax
  • The radiologist receives the request and accepts it; an appointment is made
  • The patient visits the radiology department, and the radiology assistant takes the X-ray image(s). These are stored in the radiology system (PACS)
  • The radiologist examines the radiology images and writes / dictates his findings in a report
  • The radiology report is sent to the requestor (the surgeon)
  • The surgeon looks at the radiology images and the radiology report