Type 2

Modules are described as a groups of data elements. The DICOM standard uses modules to group information items that are similar for multiple objects so they only have to be defined once in the standard.

A module is composed of a set of attributes, tags, attribute type and attribute description. The module specifies the individual attributes and their type.

There is a group of attributes that is required, identified as Type 2, but could be sent empty if they are unknown. Examples of those are the patient name, ID, accession number, birth date, referring physician, and some others.

The reason for not requiring those attributes is that it might be possible, in case of an emergency, that the patient information is not yet known, and one would not want to stop the acquisition and communication of that image until the patient’s name is known. It is generally expected that type 2 attributes are reconciled and/or filled in later, or at least prior to permanently being archived.

Some vendors, however, have not implemented any means to enter some of the critical Type 2 attributes at all, which actually could be considered a violation.Together with the mismatches of patient ID, names, etc., these Type 2 attributes keep many system administrators busy correcting objects with the correct information.

Some devices simply refuse to accept objects if some of the Type 2 attributes are missing. It is recommended that this behavior is clearly specified and identified.

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