Vendor Neutral Archive

Vendor Neutral Archives (VNAs) offer many departments and practices seamless image storing and archiving capability across any PACS . A true VNA should be able to store and retrieve data from any PACS vendor and transparently migrate between storage platforms from any storage vendor utilizing any storage technology as cost-effectively and painlessly as possible.

A Vendor Neutral Archive meets the following requirements:

  • It must have the ability to store the complete suite of DICOM SOP classes including presentation states and key image notes.
  • It must store all objects in a non-proprietary format understood by the community at large, ie., DICOM part 102.
  • It must support the most inclusive DICOM query/retrieve specification as a service provider for the information stored in the archive at all information levels.
  • It must provide context management, i.e., the ability to manipulate DICOM tags so as to convert the DICOM implementation and demographic needs of one PACS vendor (or imaging application) to the DICOM expectations of another PACS vendor (or imaging application) with no significant impact on the customers daily operation. Context management includes the ability to prepare a PACS through HL7 for ingestion of images from another, disparate PACS.
  • It must handle ADT updates to the image files stored in the archive.

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VNA Services

A major challenge hospitals face in adopting an imaging data center in a multisite environment stems from a vendor’s capabilities and willingness to help. There is a stark difference between a central PACS archive that aggregates images from a vendor’s own multiple PACS and a true VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive). In multisite projects, a PACS supplier may provide a central archive. The real question is what happens a few years down the line when one of those hospitals opts to replace the vendor’s PACS with that of another vendor? Similarly, what happens when the group wants to integrate another hospital to the network? Can this be done, even if the incoming PACS is from a different vendor to that providing the central archive, and without corrupting data quality?

No matter how efficient your PACS is, there are things it can’t do. It can’t share your images with other departments. It can’t migrate your studies to another facility. And, if you change the system, there’s a good chance you’ll pay between $200,000 and $300,000 for your vendor to migrate the data because the DICOM is different.

Hospitals must ensure that a data center is not just vendor-neutral so long as it is storing images from one vendor (much in the same vein as the Ford Model T — “Any color so long as it is black”). We estimate that less than 10% of large multisite PACS projects in 2010 were provided with a true VNA. Only when hospitals begin to engage vendors to tackle these questions as part of a long-term enterprise strategy will hospitals earn their freedom from ever growing vendor fees.


Why OffSite?

  • Multiple Level IV data centers
  • 7/24/365 access to your data
  • All data managed by the customer
  • Scalable with no storage limits
  • Predictable budget friendly fee structure
  • No start up fees
  • No migration fees
  • No revolving fees
  • Guaranteed cost savings up to 60%


This where OffSite Image Management Inc has an important role. We provide VNA services and we are the model for the future.