Changing the DICOM Header or Tag Morphing Within a VNA

Tag Morphing Within a VNA

Changing the DICOM header information is sometimes referred to as tag morphing. There are three reasons for making changes in the DICOM header:

  • Neutralization refers to changing any of the incoming DICOM header information to clean up the data and standardize it. This is especially important when the information is received from modalities that are not quite DICOM compliant.
  • Identification refers to the transfer of incoming data to the proper patient identification domain by adding MPI identifiers, accession numbers, or changing the ID’s.
  • Customization refers to changes in the DICOM header that might be needed to adopt images and related information to quirks and peculiarities of certain vendors. This may have to be done to make workflow engines and hanging protocols work.

Some vendors refer to this process as bi-directional dynamic tag morphing. This is a reference to making the changes in the input as well as output of the DICOM header, and the fact that this happens upon demand or dynamically.

One could argue that tag morphing should be done by the PACS vendors rather than the VNA vendor. However, the VNA vendor might implement this just to ensure the system is working.

For more information about developing a Vendor Neutral Architecture, the VNA Institute of Technology, or to enroll for CPHIMS (CE) Continuing Education Hours, visit http://www.vnait.org.For information about TeraMedica, visit: http://www.teramedica.com

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