PACS-Related VNA: How It’s True VNA
Make Sure Your VNA is the Real Deal
The traditional departmental PACS is quickly losing its ability to support the amount of medical image data being generated today. Additionally, the traditional PACS is not capable of doing everything healthcare professionals are asking of it today. For instance, one issue with PACS today is related to proprietary metadata in the DICOM header, which really limits the interoperability with other PACS. Can VNA (vendor neutral archiving) step in to help?
VNA technology has been gaining ground since 2006. However, there is plenty of confusion now, perhaps more than ever, about what true VNA actually is. What VNA is supposed to do is ensure interoperability with disparate PACS and take over the long-term archiving from PACS. Does every VNA solution offer these services? If you’re connected with a solution that says it’s VNA yet can’t deliver on what you expected it to do, you’re likely tied to a vendor who is using a catchword rather than building a solution based around true VNA.
PACS vendors are doing a better job today in improving departmental workflow, but most are lacking innovation and can’t offer interoperability. Furthermore, disaster recovery risks continue to abound with traditional PACS. What VNA can do is offer an archiving function that PACS fail to offer, which boosts a provider’s ability to bring more disaster recovery solutions to the table. For instance, a company offering VNA services will most likely partner with data centers at the Level IV quality, which means there are many redundancies put in place to ensure data is always available.
Here are some reasons providers give for deploying a VNA solution:
- Data exchange and interoperability are improved. This is vitally important for healthcare systems that merge with others. Data exchange from PACS-to-PACS becomes a daily occurrence in merging/acquired healthcare providers, which is why VNA architecture is so important.
- Less management complexity occurs through VNA. Instead of managing individual silos or staying current on the latest upgrades at multiple storage sites, VNA helps to reduce management complexity.
- Providers get improved access to images through VNA, and Meaningful Use provisions are easier to work with. Unlike PACS, providers utilizing VNA can access their medical images from anywhere at anytime.
- There is a definite reduction in the cost of ownership when using VNA. This occurs in system management and storage, as well as in data migrations.
If you are having a tough time finding a vendor that offers true VNA services, ask yourself these questions as you examine the finalists:
- Does the solution have the capability to store the whole suite of DICOM SOP classes, including key image notes and presentation states?
- Can the solution store all objects in a non-proprietary format?
- Can it support the most inclusive DICOM query/retrieve specification at all information levels?
- Can it offer context management?
- Can it handle ADT updates to image files stored in the archive?
OffSite Image Management, Inc. is a company that utilizes VNA technology to bring a great number of efficiencies to clients. Our VNA offers departments and practices a seamless solution to image access and archiving. Contact us today to find out more about our solutions.