American College of Veterinary Radiology Teleradiology Guidelines
The following recommendations formulated by the ACVR Digital Imaging Standards Committee (DISC) have been adopted by the ACVR as guidelines for the veterinary profession:
The ACVR recommends the adoption of the DICOM format (DICOM.nema.org) for teleradiology applications. All systems should be able to generate a DICOM compliant image object and have software able to send images directly to a remote DICOM server.
ACVR recommends that the transmission system should allow the user to send cases to any remote DICOM server. Additionally, the user should be able to select and store multiple remote servers in the transmission system. The system should allow the end user to configure a remote DICOM destination without the need for administrative (vendor specific) privileges.
ACVR recommends that digital radiography systems be equipped with the ability to automatically send all images and studies to a remote server (autorouting), which facilitates high volume teleradiology applications.
ACVR recommends that digital radiography systems allow sending images to a remote server easily. From the basic listing of patients on the user workstation, 4 mouse clicks or fewer should be needed to send a complete study to a remote DICOM destination.
ACVR recommends that the transmission system send images as a “background process” to allow users to work with the system during transmission.
ACVR recommends that the transmission mechanism used for teleradiology should have error checking that alerts the user to any problems with transmission.
DICOM images are large files, so teleradiology generally requires a broadband internet connection. Data compression may be used to increase transmission speed and reduce storage requirements. Several methods, including both reversible (lossless) and irreversible (lossy) compression techniques, may be used, provided the resulting images show no clinically significant loss of quality.
ACVR recommends that compression only be used under the direction of a qualified veterinarian. The types and ratios of compression used for different imaging studies transmitted and stored by the system should be selected and periodically reviewed by the responsible veterinarian to ensure appropriate clinical image quality.