Role Reversal

DICOM Storage Commitment is a key part of Image Management because it shifts the responsibility for maintaining and storing the images from one device, like the modality, to another, such as the PACS archive.

 

The Storage Commitment service allows a device to request that a receiver take full responsibility for the images that were sent. The receiver does not have to be the same location that takes care of the ultimate storage, and it may later forward them to a secure storage such as an archive. Most modalities implement this by not allowing deletion of the images on the local disc unless the Storage Commitment has been successful and there is a protection flag with the images.

 

There is a technical difficulty, which makes the Storage Commitment tricky to implement: The standard specifies that the receiver of the Storage Commitment can react in two different manners - it can respond with the result of the storage commitment within the same connection (association) or using another association. The difficulty is that a sender has to be prepared to deal with either implementation.

 

When the sender of Storage Commitment decides to send this information back on a separate association, the SCP opens an association. This is unusual because normally only SCUs open associations. For this, an infrequently used feature is put to use. A device that opens the association and will negotiate role reversal, telling the other device that it is actually an SCP instead of a SCU.



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