April 4, 2017 — The PACS Administrators Registry and Certification Association (PARCA) recently announced it is adding a certification and certification exams for DICOM, the international standard for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine. The new certification will replace the Certified PACS Interface Analyst (CPIA) certification.
Since the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) first introduced the DICOM standard in 1985, it has grown both in acceptance and complexity with the adoption of a number of changes and the development of DICOM extensions. As a result Charles Wills, Ph.D., DABR, president of PARCA said it is time to add a certification that more specifically focuses on DICOM.
“DICOM, the international standard for digital imaging communications in medicine, was established by the DICOM committee, an International Standards Organization (ISO). It is really the foundation for understanding how all the parts of a PACS [picture archiving and communication system] work together,” Willis said. “You could be very well-educated in computer science or knowledgeable about information technology, but unless you know DICOM, you don’t know how the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) standard is implemented in imaging informatics.”
The new DICOM certification and the exams supporting it have been updated to cover the breadth and depth of the DICOM standard including the latest extension, DICOMweb. These exams will continue to be updated every three years. Taking the updated exams every three years will replace previous requirements for members to submit 60 hours of continuing education and to re-take the exam every five years to maintain certification.
The new certification also is an acknowledgement of the evolution of image archiving and communications within medical institutions and the adoption of the standard by professionals outside of radiology who are being drawn together to implement electronic medical records (EMRs) and enterprise-wide vendor neutral archives, according to PARCA founder Herman Oosterwijk.
“There are a number of people who are not in radiology, who all know what DICOM is, but there are a lot of new applications that are starting to use DICOM, all the ‘ologies,’ ophthalmology, cardiology, dermatology. In addition there is a lot of excitement around DICOMweb that will be essential for archiving and sharing visible light medical imaging among medical professionals that need to be a part of the PACS or IT administrator’s toolkit,” Oosterwijk said. “It will be good for these people to acquire the necessary knowledge in an organized and methodical manner to ensure the integrity of the standard as it is implemented in all these new settings. Consequently we felt there is a need for this certification focusing on DICOM so that people will know how to study it and learn about it.”
The new certification along with the study guide for the exam became available on April 1, 2017, and the new certification course is available online through Examity, which provides virtual monitoring testing administered by Examity, thus eliminating having to travel for the exam.
Those who previously earned the CPIA certification will have an opportunity to update their knowledge and earn the DICOM certification at a significant discount.
For more information: www.pacsadmin.org