While working with healthcare radiology systems (RIS, DWL, PACS and DICOM images) I found a lot of tasks in my daily work that could be optimized. For that reason I created several tools. Here you can find some of them:
The first tools it’s a must for a PACS administrator to correct day by day conflicts on the radiology service in a hospital. It allows to search patients in the PACS, modify their data, merge two patients, move studies from a patient to another, delete studies, change accession number on the studies apart from other features.
This application was done in PHP & JQuery for the webapp aswell as custon bash scripts for the connection with the PACS.
Sometimes when working with old modalities it’s hard to connect them to a DICOM WORKLIST (DWL) to get the scheduled patient list. The main problem become because of the lack of configurability of those modalities or to the fact that they’re using an old implementation of the DICOM protocol.
This tools is a broker between the DWL and the Modality, creating a custom Query that the DWL will understand, querying the patients and acting like a DWL for the modality that will ignore the incorrect query messages from it and will feed it with the patients list in a correct way that it will understand too.
This application features C# Forms and uses DCMTK under hood.
Another problem I faced while working with PACS is that physicians usually get patients that bring their own previous studies in a CD and they would like to include them in the patient folder in the local PACS. This task is not as easy as it looks so usually is done by the IT department.
The application I created features a simple UI that will simplify this task enough so the physicians could make it by themselves. The basic workflow using this app is:
- The application will ask the user where the patient’s images are located (USB, CD or folder).
- Once the user provide a folder, the app will walk into it and its subfolders trying to find every DICOM image on it.
- It will show a list of the patients founds in the location and its images and will ask the user to enter the Patient ID for each of the patients founds.
- It will validate the Patient ID and will query a REST API to get its complete data (Fullname, Age, Birthdate) in order to modify each DICOM image with the queried data.
- Finally the application will send to the PACS the modified images that will be stored in the patient folder.
The client application was developed in C# Forms, the REST API in PHP and the process to send the images to the PACS was achived using Mirth Connect.
External center importer
Patients usually receive assistence in more than one center, so it's important for the physician to be able to access to the previous radiology images to prevent radiate the patient again.
For this reason I made this app. Its goal is to let the source centers to send radiology images to the destination center where the patient will have an appointment and integrate these images in the PACS.
The most important feature of the application is the validation of the patient ID, to retreive the correct data and stamp on the final images.
When a new system is installed on a hospital it's crucial to have a monitoring system to know if the process is being made correctly. Similary it's important to keep using this system to ensure proper operation of the system. This app analyses the number of correct DICOM studies stored by modality and month to detect incorrect use of the system.