A pathology “case” is a unit of work resulting in a report with associated codified, billable acts. Case Level attributes are generally outside the scope of the Specimen Module. However, a case is equivalent to a DICOM Requested Procedure, for which attributes are specified in the DICOM Study level modules.
DICOM has existing methods to handle most “case level” issues, including accepting cases referred for other institutions, clinical history, status codes, etc. These methods are considered sufficient to support DICOM imaging in Pathology.
The concept of an “Accession Number” in Pathology has been determined to be sufficiently equivalent to an “Accession Number” in Radiology that the DICOM data element “Accession Number” at the Study level at the DICOM information model may be used for the Pathology Accession Number with essentially the existing definition.
It is understood that the value of the laboratory accession number is often incorporated as part of a Specimen ID. However, there is no presumption that this is always true, and the Specimen ID should not be parsed to determine an accession number. The accession number will always be sent in its own discrete attribute.