Experience with importation of electronic images into the medical record from physical media

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to describe a system we developed for importing images on compact discs (CDs) from external imaging departments into our clinical image viewing system, and to report on key metrics regarding veracity of information seen on the CDs. We recommend careful attention to the process of CD importation because of the error rate we have seen. We developed a system and process for importing images on CD into our EMR. The importation system scans the CD for digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM) images, and collects all patient information seen. That information is presented to the patient for verification. Once validated, the image data is copied into our clinical viewing system. The importation system includes facilities for collecting instances of incorrect data. About 90% of images are now exchanged between our healthcare enterprise and other entities via CD. Data for the wrong patient (e.g., the wrong CD) is seen in about 0.1% of cases, and a similar number of CDs have data for more than one patient on the CD(s) the patient bring to our facility. Most data are now exchanged via DICOM files. DICOM images burned onto CD media are now commonly used for image exchange. However, applications to import DICOM images are not enough. One must implement a process to assure high confidence that the data imported belongs to the patient you are importing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-699
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Digital imaging and communications in medicine (DICOM)
  • Electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Image distribution
  • Integrating healthcare enterprise (IHE)
  • Medical record linkage
  • Teleradiology
  • Workflow reengineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Science Applications


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