Patient Informatics

7. Image storage and retrieval

The storage and distribution of imaging acquired from COVID-19 diagnostics is a paramount importance to effective treatment of affected patients.

In order to achieve a smooth workflow, consider the following key points:

  • Will COVID-19 imaging acquired in temporary or external location be stored separately to the usual workflow imaging or mixed in (perhaps identified by Station Names, or other worklist parameters)?
  • Can imaging be stored with full demographics (perhaps from a worklist) or does the data need to be quarantined for later manual housekeeping?
  • Access and sharing requirements – do the images need to be shared more widely than normal? Will there will more temporary staff needing access to the systems?
  • Are existing image compression settings appropriate? No studies are as-yet available comparing variously compressed COVID-19 thoracic imaging.
  • Is the storage media large enough? Secured?
  • Take regular backups and follow standard good data protection advice to guard against corruption or misidentification.
  • Will network connections such as WiFi be satisfactory or do new links need to be commissioned?
  • For services previously reliant on off-site (Cloud) storage – are there sufficient local resources to store current and recent images in case access to the cloud is lost?