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Imaging studies for nationwide use

Blog Written on 19.10.2018 All blogs

Healthcare providers can now deploy the Archive of Imaging Data for archiving imaging studies created in patient care. What does the deployment of the service require? 

The Archive of Imaging Data is a new Kanta service for recording imaging studies created during patient care, as well as information about related requests, study entries and study reports. Imaging data can also be utilised across organisation borders in the same way as with the Patient Data Repository. The service is used by many healthcare professionals, such as clinicians, radiologists, isotope specialists, pathologists, medical physicists, and healthcare staff.

The first organisations to join the service – Siun sote and HUS – will deploy it this autumn.

“In the first stage, radiology studies, such as X-ray and magnetic images, are recorded in the Archive of Imaging Data. In the second stage, which was launched this autumn, special features related to the recording of oral healthcare images, electrocardiograms and visible light images are specified and the possibilities of a national solution for collecting radiation burden data are considered,” says Senior IT Specialist Tarja Herttuainen at Kela.

What are the requirements of using the Archive of Imaging Data?

The healthcare provider must have joined the Patient Data Repository. In addition, the organisation must be using a system suitable for the archiving of imaging data, as well as a viewer application.

“The deployment has the same process as with the other Kanta Services: the information system used by the organisation must be certified, which requires completed joint testing and an information security audit. The system supplier must also become familiar with the requirements of the Archive of Imaging Data and design the related technical solutions.”

It is recommended that the healthcare organisation works together with the system supplier to consider the implementation aspects: for example, which information is worth including in the interface so that the information about the imaging studies carried out on the patient is as clear and useful as possible for the user. “The Archive of Imaging Data is a background system, and its usability depends on the whole entity,” says Herttuainen.

The imaging studies recorded in the Archive of Imaging Data must be in DICOM format to be accepted in the archive. Legislation also imposes requirements for both the recording and the use of data.

“The Archive of Imaging Data automatically concludes, for example, the controller of the study and the service event the study is related to. In data sharing, the patient’s consents and refusals are checked in the same way as with the Kanta Services in general,” says Herttuainen.

What are the benefits of the Archive of Imaging Data to the user?

In the future, it will be possible to view all imaging studies carried out on an individual patient regardless of where they have been done. That way, organisations treating the patient will be able to see previous imaging studies and it will not be necessary to carry out new studies. In addition, for example, radiologists can utilise the reference images on a nationwide basis.

“With greater freedom of choice, it is really important that images move with the patient when they go from one healthcare provider to another. When all information is available, it is beneficial for both the patient and the professionals treating them,” Herttuainen points out.

As a result of the Archive of Imaging Data, manual delivery of images between organisations will become unnecessary. Entry methods related to imaging studies will also become standardised, which improves interoperability and accuracy of data. The Archive of Imaging Data also ensures storage of data in electronic format in accordance with the legislation in force.

The patient cannot see the images of imaging studies through My Kanta Pages, only the medical reports on them. “The report issued on the images is more useful to the patient. It would be easy to misinterpret the images,” Herttuainen says.

Further information

The Archive of Imaging Data