DICOM PS3.1 2019b - Introduction and Overview

1.4.3 Information Objects and Unique Object Identification

Many DICOM services involve the exchange of persistent information objects, such as images. An instance of such an information object may be exchanged across many systems and many organizational contexts, and over time. While minor changes may be made to the attributes of an instance to facilitate its handling within a particular organization (e.g., by coercing a Patient ID to the value used in a local context), the semantic content of an instance does not change.

Each instance is identified by a globally unique object identifier, which persists with the instance across all exchanges. Changes to the semantic content of an instance are defined to create a new instance, which is assigned a new globally unique object identifier.

DICOM PS3.1 2019b - Introduction and Overview