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What is “Hanging Protocol” in Medical Imaging?

 

Hanging_ProtocolThe term hanging protocol refers to a set of actions performed to arrange images for optimal viewing in a PACS  (Picture Archiving and Communication System. The use of a standard  hanging protocol allows the medical professional to review and study medical image views for patients in a particular predictable sequence, which allows the medical practitioner to more efficiently analyze medical image views for a large number of patients.  Hanging protocol increase radiologists efficiency by saving the time they  spend in manual reordering of the images for viewing for diagnosis. Hanging protocols vary based on modality, body part, department, personal preference, etc. 

The terminology comes from the days when physical films were clipped to a film alternator belt according to a preferred viewing sequence, or “hanging protocol.” While today, many x-ray procedures are handled digitally, the terminology has continued to represent the arrangement of the digital view, even though they are no longer physical films “hanging” on a belt. 

With this conversion from film to digitized image views, many computerized medical image review systems often come with  a set of default hanging protocols or the user may be able to design his own.   hanging protocol provide a medical practitioner with the ability to display a particular set of images in a particular sequence or order on a display screen or interface and across multiple display screens or interfaces. These capabilities are still referred to as hanging protocols.

Initial configuration and testing of Hanging Protocols is a key step in the successful implementation of a PACS system.   Furthermore, if a medical organization provides mobile access to PACS images via web-based systems,  then it is imperative that the web-based viewing system support hanging protocol so that Radiologists can see all patient information and view X-rays on PACS monitors with the click of a single button.

Radiology Services Online provides true hanging protocol in a web-based PACS viewing system. 

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