General Purpose Worklist

General Purpose Worklist provides tasks to be done, such as interpretation at a workstation, while managing their status so that multiple users can use the same pool of jobs.

Imagine several radiologists reading images using several workstations from a common pool of exams. When a radiologist retrieves a certain study, a signal is sent back to the image manager/archive to lock that study and indicate that fact to the other radiologists, which minimizes the chance of having a double read. When the reporting is completed this is indicated as well.

The problem is that exchanging information between workstations and an image workflow manager/archive of a particular vendor is often done in a proprietary manner. A workstation from another vendor probably does not have access to that type of information. It can display a list of recent images, but whether they are being read by another radiologist, or have been reported on, is not known. The result is that third-party workstations are de-featured when connecting to a PACS system of a vendor that does have the same functionality as the PACS vendor’s own workstations.

The DICOM general purpose worklist formalizes the exchange between workstations and an archive in a standard manner so that when a particular vendor supports the extension, other workstations can access the workflow data. It provides a locking mechanism and scheduler to provide information about the exams to be read. Implementing these services will loosen the tight connection that currently exists between viewing stations and the image manager/archive of the same vendor.

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