Supplement 23 to Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is an introduction to the structured reporting (SR) classes, which are used for transmission and storage of clinical documents. The SR classes fully support both conventional free-text reports and structured information, thus enhancing the precision, clarity, and value of clinical documentation. In addition, the SR standard provides the capability to link text and other data to particular images or waveforms and to store the coordinates of findings. In other words, SR documents not only describe the specific features contained in images or waveforms but can also refer to any number of images or waveforms. Accordingly, SR bridges the traditional gap between imaging systems and information systems. Furthermore, SR plays an essential role in Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise by providing healthcare practitioners with an effective tool that encompasses a variety of clinical contexts. Harmonization of DICOM SR and the Health Level Seven clinical document architecture standard is under way.
Copyright RSNA, 2004