Just What is Vendor Neutral Archiving? A Review
When vendor neutral archiving hit the scene several years ago, it was all the rage. Unfortunately, the interpretation of vendor neutral archiving was a bit loose, which prompted some products that weren’t quite what people were expecting when they received them. So, what exactly is true vendor neutral archiving (VNA) and how does it help a healthcare facility?
Most VNA consultants will tell you that VNA is essentially the digitalization of data from the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to the server. However, it’s important to note that true VNA will allow the transmission of the medical images and data that corresponds with the images regardless of the system being used. If you are using a VNA that does not allow you to work with images across disparate systems, you don’t have true VNA.
True VNA includes technology that allows you to retrieve data from your PACS and store it regardless of the vendor. It’s all about transparent migration between storage platforms and being able to get the images to the people who need to see them in order to provide better patient care.
Before VNA became available, healthcare providers were using proprietary storage solutions. Some providers are still using these systems and having trouble sending patient images to other facilities. We know that today as patients have multiple care providers, flexibility is key, and it’s something they’re not able to achieve with proprietary equipment.
Bringing in VNA provides software that can ease the issues of migrating data from PACS, which can take a lot of time, cost money and cause some control issues to come up in the process. Furthermore, this migration can also cause a delay in transferring medical images.
In some cases, healthcare providers have trouble transferring images from one department to another. These are facilities in desperate need of the efficiencies brought by true VNA, which will offer them storage of a complete suite of DICOM SOP classes, including presentation states and notes regarding key images. Also, a true VNA will allow you to store everything in non-proprietary format, which can then be viewed by authorized users.
True VNA also allows you to include DICOM query/retrieve commands and context management. You should have the ability to manipulate DICOM tags and convert the DICOM implementation and demographic needs.
It’s fairly common today for hospitals to face challenges in adopting their imaging data center into a multisite environment, especially those who have not gravitated to true VNA. Given the fact that patients are more mobile today and seeing multiple doctors and specialists, it’s not good enough to have a PACS system that aggregates images from department to department; providers need the flexibility to go offsite and reach out to facilities across county and state lines. This is true for rural facilities where radiologists commonly send images to larger facilities.
The founders of OffSite Image Management, Inc., are familiar with the challenges providers face at rural facilities, which is why we’ve come up with solutions that are affordable, yet provide you the quality you need in storing and sharing your medical images. Contact us today and find out how you can improve patient care without bursting your budget.