DICOM PS3.17 2019c - Explanatory Information

B Integration of Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step in The Original DICOM Standard (Informative)

This Annex was formerly located in Annex G “Integration of Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step in the Original DICOM Standard (Informative)” in PS3.3 in the 2003 and earlier revisions of the Standard.

DICOM was published in 1993 and effectively addresses image communication for a number of modalities and Image Management functions for a significant part of the field of medical imaging. Since then, many additional medical imaging specialties have contributed to the extension of the DICOM Standard and developed additional Image Object Definitions. Furthermore, there have been discussions about the harmonization of the DICOM Real-World domain model with other standardization bodies. This effort has resulted in a number of extensions to the DICOM Standard. The integration of the Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step address an important part of the domain area that was not included initially in the DICOM Standard. At the same time, the Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step integration make steps in the direction of harmonization with other standardization bodies (CEN TC 251, HL7, etc.).

The purpose of this Annex is to show how the original DICOM Standard relates to the extension for Modality Worklist Management and Modality Performed Procedure Step. The two included figures outline the void filled by the Modality Worklist Management and Modality Performed Procedure Step specification, and the relationship between the original DICOM Data Model and the extended model.

Functional View - Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step Management in the Context of DICOM Service Classes

Figure B-1. Functional View - Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step Management in the Context of DICOM Service Classes


The management of a patient starts when the patient enters a physical facility (e.g., a hospital, a clinic, an imaging center) or even before that time. The DICOM Patient Management SOP Class provides many of the functions that are of interest to imaging departments. Figure B-1 is an example where one presumes that an order for a procedure has been issued for a patient. The order for an imaging procedure results in the creation of a Study Instance within the DICOM Study Management SOP Class. At the same time (A) the Modality Worklist Management SOP Class enables a modality operator to request the scheduling information for the ordered procedures. A worklist can be constructed based on the scheduling information. The handling of the requested imaging procedure in DICOM Study Management and in DICOM Worklist Management are closely related. The worklist also conveys patient/study demographic information that can be incorporated into the images.

Worklist Management is completed once the imaging procedure has started and the Scheduled Procedure Step has been removed from the Worklist, possibly in response to the Modality Performed Procedure Step (B). However, Study Management continues throughout all stages of the Study, including interpretation. The actual procedure performed (based on the request) and information about the images produced are conveyed by the DICOM Study Component SOP Class or the Modality Performed Procedure Step SOP Classes.

Relationship of the Original Model and the Extensions for Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step Management

Figure B-2. Relationship of the Original Model and the Extensions for Modality Worklist and Modality Performed Procedure Step Management


Figure B-2 shows the relationship between the original DICOM Real-World model and the extensions of this Real-World model required to support the Modality Worklist and the Modality Performed Procedure Step. The new parts of the model add entities that are needed to request, schedule, and describe the performance of imaging procedures, concepts that were not supported in the original model. The entities required for representing the Worklist form a natural extension of the original DICOM Real-World model.

Common to both the original model and the extended model is the Patient entity. The Service Episode is an administrative concept that has been shown in the extended model in order to pave the way for future adaptation to a common model supported by other standardization groups including HL7, CEN TC 251 WG 3, CAP-IEC, etc. The Visit is in the original model but not shown in the extended model because it is a part of the Service Episode.

There is a 1 to 1 relationship between a Requested Procedure and the DICOM Study (A). A DICOM Study is the result of a single Requested Procedure. A Requested Procedure can result in only one Study.

A n:m relationship exists between a Scheduled Procedure Step and a Modality Performed Procedure Step (B). The concept of a Modality Performed Procedure Step is a superset of the Study Component concept contained in the original DICOM model. The Modality Performed Procedure Step SOP Classes provide a means to relate Modality Performed Procedure Steps to Scheduled Procedure Steps.

DICOM PS3.17 2019c - Explanatory Information