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Brühschwein, Andreas; Klever, Julius; Wilkinson, Tom; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andrea (2018): DICOM Standard Conformance in Veterinary Medicine in Germany: a Survey of Imaging Studies in Referral Cases. In: Journal of Digital Imaging, Vol. 31, No. 1: pp. 13-18
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In 2016, the recommendations of the DICOM Standards Committee for the use of veterinary identification DICOM tags had its 10th anniversary. The goal of our study was to survey veterinary DICOM standard conformance in Germany regarding the specific identification tags veterinarians should use in veterinary diagnostic imaging. We hypothesized that most veterinarians in Germany do not follow the guidelines of the DICOM Standards Committee. We analyzed the metadata of 488 imaging studies of referral cases from 115 different veterinary institutions in Germany by computer-aided DICOM header readout. We found that 25 (5.1%) of the imaging studies fully complied with the "veterinary DICOM standard" in this survey. The results confirmed our hypothesis that the recommendations of the DICOM Standards Committee for the consistent and advantageous use of veterinary identification tags have found minimal acceptance amongst German veterinarians. DICOM does not only enable connectivity between machines, DICOM also improves communication between veterinarians by sharing correct and valuable metadata for better patient care. Therefore, we recommend that lecturers, universities, societies, authorities, vendors, and other stakeholders should increase their effort to improve the spread of the veterinary DICOM standard in the veterinary world.