SMFM Special Statement: Best-practice recommendations for ultrasound network connectivity
Prenatal ultrasound is an indispensable tool used by obstetrical care providers to assist in the everyday care of their pregnant patients. Alongside advancements in imaging, the electronic systems that support this technology have become more advanced. However, it is currently difficult for these individual systems to communicate with each other “out of the box.” There is also minimal standardization of the type and format of data transmitted within these systems. Clinicians and system vendors must work collaboratively to create clinical and technical standards to serve as the foundation for increased interoperability among the various systems within each institutional network. Therefore, the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinical Informatics Committee established an Ultrasound Electronic Health Record Subcommittee to facilitate collaboration between clinicians, including maternal-fetal medicine subspecialists, and ultrasound network component vendors. Based on the work of this subcommittee, the purpose of this document is to provide: (1) a basic understanding of ultrasound network architecture and capabilities, and (2) best-practice recommendations for electronic health record order design, obstetrical clinical data standards, and billing and coding practices.
Key words: electronic health record, obstetrical ultrasound, ultrasound network architecture, ultrasound