Import and Display of External Priors

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Import and Display of External Priors (IDEP) specifies the trigger events, transactions, and data mappings necessary to automate the discovery of relevant prior imaging studies and reports and the transfer between different facilities, i.e., “external priors”.


It is common for patients to move between healthcare facilities that serve a shared patient population. Many of these healthcare facilities already have a shared secure network infrastructure. Upon receipt of an order for a new imaging study, the IHE Radiology Import and Display of External Priors (IDEP) Profile provides a method to automatically retrieve images and reports throughout the shared network, independent of a common Patient Identifier. The exchange includes “localizing” the data such that both the radiology images and reports may be displayed in the same system in the expected manner for side-by-side comparison and report display.

Flow of external prior images and reports between facilities


  • Provides ability to locate, access, and view external priors for direct comparison
    • Particularly during the short time frame required for them to be relevant to reading
  • Supports side-by side image comparison of current studies and external priors using local hanging protocols and viewing tools
  • Reduces re-scanned patients (see Nagels, J., Macdonald, D. & Coz, C. J Digit Imaging (2017).
  • Provides a consistent mechanism for retrieving external prior reports
  • Minimizes impact on existing systems
    • Importer actor does the bulk of the work
    • Local PACS / RIS / EMR systems should require minimal changes to support


<A few paragraphs, if appropriate, providing more details (mostly in user-speak, not tech-speak) on what the profile does and how it works.>

<If the user might be familiar with the mechanisms used by the profile, you can mention them here. E.g. Evidence Documents is based on DICOM Structured Report (SR) Templates.>

<If the user might have an appreciation for the problems addressed in the profile, you can mention them here, but keep it short. E.g. Mapping HL7 Order fields to DICOM Modality Worklist attributes can be inconsistent in the marketplace, so Scheduled Workflow provides vendors with more detailed instructions.>

Systems Affected

  • PACS may receive and display external prior studies and respond to prior study search requests
  • RIS / EMR systems may initiate external prior workflow, receive / display external prior reports and respond to prior report search requests
  • VNA / EIR systems may execute the external prior workflow and manage the movement of external prior studies and reports

Actors & Transactions:

IDEP Actor Diagram
IDEP Actor Diagram
IDEP XDS Options Actor Diagram
IDEP XDS Options Actor Diagram


Profile Status: Trial Implementation


Underlying Standards:

See Also

Related Profiles

Consumer Information

The Profile FAQ Template answers typical questions about what the Profile does. <Replace the link with a link to the actual FAQ page for the Profile>

The Profile Purchasing Template describes considerations when purchasing equipment to deploy this Profile. <Replace the link with a link to the actual Purchasing page for the Profile>

Implementer Information

The Profile Implementation Template provides additional information about implementing this Profile in software. <Replace the link with a link to the actual Implementation page for the Profile>

Reference Articles

This page is based on the Profile Overview Template