Results Distribution

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The IHE Result Distribution Profile (RD) defines the communication of imaging results like radiology reports between Report Creators, Managers, and Consumers. RD.jpg


The RD Profile provides key data in a structured format to trigger downstream activities like

  • Follow up of non-critical actionable findings
  • Additional billing
  • Consults
  • Submission to registries/analysis
  • Submission for inquiries to clinical trials
  • Business analysis

RD is a gap solution to bridge result communication until structured formats like CDA and SDC are more widely supported. It is designed to maximize communication between a wide variety of existing systems


The Report Distribution profile facicitlates communication of imaging results (i.e., radiology reports) between physicians, medical staff, and various facilities. It provides a consistent mechanism, and definition of metadata, to simplify the distribution of imaging results. When a radiologist creates an interpretation, or a “result”, of an imaging study, the imaging result is often sent to an EMR for review by the physician who ordered the study. These imaging results are used to determine the on-going care, or “clinical care pathway”, for the patient. Additionally, radiologists often use prior (comparison study) imaging results in the interpretation of a new imaging procedure. Imaging results may also be used for data mining for public health studies or clinical trial evaluations.

Use cases addressed by this profile include:

  • Send an imaging result to an EMR
  • Send an imaging result to a Follow-Up Source (i.e., Non-Critical Actionable Findings)

The profile is using an HL7 2.5.1 Observation Results (ORU) message to maximize compatibility with existing installed systems.

Systems Affected

Report Creators like

  • Voice dictation system
  • Point and click reporting solutions
  • Natural language processing systems
  • Template driven or text driven reporting solutions in Radiology or cardiology, etc

Report Managers like

  • Reporting systems
  • PACS system
  • EMR

Report Consumers like

  • Report Viewers
  • EMRs
  • Research databases
  • Regulatory registries (e.g. ACC NCDR)
  • Follow-up Actionable Finding Mgr

Actors & Transactions:

RD ActorsTransactions.jpg


Profile Status: Trial Implementation


Underlying Standards:

  • HL7 Version 2.5.1