• RadLex Playbook

    Release 1.0: Playbook for CT procedure names released November 1, 2011.
    Number of procedure names: 342 as of October 31, 2011.
    url: http://playbook.radlex.org 

    The RadLex Playbook is a special component of the RadLex controlled terminology, a resource for radiology developed and maintained by RSNA. RadLex is made freely available for private, research, and commercial use internationally. (Licensing terms can be found here.)

    The Playbook provides a standard, comprehensive lexicon of radiology orderables and procedure step names. Each Playbook entry includes:

    • A unique identifier (RPID) used in information systems to identify the Playbook name.
    • A long version of the name, which is composed according to the Playbook grammar.
    • A short version of the name, which is used in .DICOM header information
    • A human-readable definition. 
    • Mappings to RadLex terms that provide components of the Playbook name, such as modality, body part, indications, etc. These mappings are useful in query and data analysis applications.


    Playbook has drawn from expert knowledge provided by a number of leading research institutions, hospitals, and government agencies. RSNA is using the Playbook to build a standard chargemaster—a table of charges which matches exams to CPT codes and to departmental charges. This will enable radiology sites sharing information to transmit the RPID in the DICOM header instead of institution-specific exam codes or descriptions, greatly enhancing interoperability.

    Playbook Users

    All institutions performing radiological imaging create names for the procedures they perform and that referring physicians can order ("radiology procedures" and "orderables") and each step in each procedure ("procedure steps"). The Playbook was motivated by the need for a standard naming system for orderables and procedures steps so that they have the same names across institutions.

    The American College of Radiology (ACR) has become an early adopter of Playbook for use in their CT Dose Index Registry (DIR). The DIR allows facilities to compare their CT dose indices to regional and national values. Using standard procedure names for the data being collected is crucial to establishing national benchmarks. The ACR has begun collecting reporting dose values for the DIR using Playbook procedure names.

    Radiologists and developers of radiology ordering, decision support, reporting, billing and other clinical systems are invited to download the Playbook and incorporate it into applications that will benefit from the use of a standard set of procedure names.

    Playbook Benefits

    The Playbook provides the following benefits:

    • Clear and unambiguous names enable more accurate ordering and scheduling.
    • Improved interoperability, data sharing, and reporting to support emerging national initiatives such as image and dose registries.
    • The ability to standardize imaging acquisition protocols and dictation templates.
    • The ability to map procedure names to ICD and CTP codes for more efficient and accurate coding and billing.
    • Automatic generation of exam protocols based on community standards such as the Uniform Protocols for Imaging in Clinical Trials (UPICT) initiative.
    • Automated workflows of post processing keyed on the imaging procedure.

    Getting started with the Playbook

    The RadLex Playbook is distributed via the Playbook Web site (http://playbook.radlex.org). The site provides a search interface to enable users to quickly find the names of procedures or procedure steps achttp://dev2.rsna.org/WorkArea/edit.aspxcording to a flexible set of criteria.


    You can download the Playbook—in whole or in part—as a comma-separated values (csv) file compatible with MS-Excel and other spreadsheet programs. The site also includes a simple spreadsheet tool for mapping an institution’s chargemaster to Playbook procedure names anda manual describing that process (download here).

    RadLex and Playbook support

    The RadLex project receives ongoing grant support from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the National Institutes of Health, and the RadLex Playbook receives grant support from the Department of Defense. It is overseen by the RadLex Steering Committee, a subcommittee of the RSNA Radiology Informatics Committee (RIC).

    Please send questions or feedback on RadLex Playbook to playbook_feedback@rsna.org.  

We appreciate your comments and suggestions in our effort to improve your RSNA web experience.

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