DICOM PS3.17 2024b - Explanatory Information

YYYY Inventories (Informative)

YYYY.1 The DICOM Data Management Environment

DICOM data in a healthcare organization is typically managed in a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), which supports a repository of current and historical studies, access to those studies through DICOM standard interfaces, and often workflow management for production and interpretation of studies. Historical images are routinely retained "forever", and data set sizes are increasing with 3D/4D and multimodality studies. Repositories in many institutions store over a billion instances across tens of millions of studies, with data volumes over one petabyte. Enterprise-scale management tools and data are required, including interoperability features that operate at large scales.

YYYY.1.1 Inventories

An important feature supporting repository management is the ability to obtain an inventory of the repository contents in a standard format. DICOM provides two complementary methods - an interactive query-based mechanism and a persistent inventory information object. Both approaches address the issues associated with a large inventory with over a billion records.

The two methods, query-based and persistent object, each satisfy distinct approaches to implementation and use of inventories. Generally, repository systems that already implement query for patient-oriented operations may find implementation of a query-based inventory to be expeditious, but there may be repository systems that may want to implement production of an inventory object. Many user applications need to have a persistent object that can be processed offline in a bulk operation, such as E/T/L (extract, transfer, and load) to a data warehouse, but some inventory using applications may desire to use an interactive query model. There may also be applications that can mediate between queries and persistent objects (see Section YYYY.7.1)


The following sections describing the Repository Query and the Inventory Information Object, respectively, are written to be read independently of one another; there is therefore significant overlap between the sections.

DICOM PS3.17 2024b - Explanatory Information