Independent Vendor Neutral Archive: Pathway to the Cloud

04 November 2013 | Jon Hamdorf, Director, Global VNA Solutions, Perceptive Software

Vendor neutral archive (VNA) technology is becoming a critical platform for healthcare organizations. This necessity originates from the explosive growth of clinical content and the need for interoperability and collaboration. Healthcare organizations are challenged with managing and accessing clinical content stored in proprietary formats in departmental applications, such as PACS.

Independent VNA systems free clinical content from departmental PACS systems, give the control of information back to the healthcare organization and provide a platform for data liquidity and interoperability. In order for a healthcare organization to achieve the full benefits of a VNA solution, the solution must at a minimum:

  • Support multiple PACS systems
  • Support distributed or centralized architectures
  • Be configurable without engaging the vendor to write custom code
  • Support multi-department and multi-site DICOM and XDS
  • Support both DICOM and non-DICOM content
  • Include Information Lifecycle Management tools
  • Include migration tools
  • Provide storage platform flexibility
  • Support multiple clinical viewers

These criteria build the framework to effectively put the control of clinical information back into the hands of the healthcare organization. VNA technology is also an enabling technology that helps provide a platform to achieve other business and clinical objectives. A specific example of an objective would be cloud storage adoption.

As can be seen above, storage platform freedom is critical to any VNA solution. This means not only freedom from the PACS vendor forcing a specific storage platform, but also the tools to dynamically manage data over its lifecycle on multiple tiers or venues of storage. These capabilities make the decision to move to a new storage model, such as hybrid or cloud from a strictly on-premise model, much easier for the healthcare organization. This also gives the healthcare organization the freedom to invest in emerging technologies to gain greater economies of scale and cost savings in the long run. The Microsoft Azure cloud platform is one of those storage options that are available to drive business and clinical value. Microsoft Azure is a cost-effective, secure and flexible storage option for clinical content. It can be leveraged as a part of a larger content management strategy to store redundant copies of patient information for high availability and disaster recovery protocols. Also, by being HIPAA compliant and backed with the financial stability of Microsoft, the Azure cloud platform is a safe and secure long-term investment for healthcare organizations looking to make a move to the cloud.

Join our Webinar on November 5, 2013 to hear more on this topic.

Webinar:  Lowering the cost and complexity of Medical Image Archiving using an Intelligent Cloud Infrastructure, register here.

Have a comment or opinion on this post or a question for the author? Send us an email at healthdigital@microsoft.com or let us know on Facebook here or via Twitter here.

Jon Hamdorf
Director, Global VNA Solutions, Perceptive Software