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Back to Cloud Basics: Vendor Neutral Archiving

Ready for part 4 in our cloud image management 101 series? Last week, we defined Cloud PACS, and today, we’re ready for another one of those confusing terms – cloud-based vendor neutral archiving (Cloud VNA). Vendor neutral archiving often provides a unique opportunity to consolidate vast amounts of data and make them available from one single point.

What is a Vendor Neutral Archive?

Unlike PACS (picture archiving systems), which are typically designed to serve one department, a VNA is designed to be a long-term archive, a central repository for housing images from a variety of systems. The vendor neutral in vendor neutral implies that VNAs aren’t based on one strict vendor architecture or strategy. Traditional on-premise VNA solutions require maintenance, as well as management of VPN (virtual private networks) connections to link locations across a network.

Cloud VNA is a long-term archive, a central repository for housing images from a variety of systems.

So, Where Does the Cloud Come Into Cloud VNA?

A Cloud VNA takes the capabilities of a traditional Vendor Neutral Archive further by providing a flexible framework over the internet in which images can be transferred, viewed, and patient imaging and data can be joined together, enabling a holistic patient health record by unifying reporting and imaging.

No matter what data types your long-term image management strategy involves, a Cloud VNA has you covered. Non-DICOM imaging can be stored side-by-side with DICOM imaging for a holistic view of all patient imaging. The cloud provides flexibility to archive and retrieves all DICOM modalities including MR, CT, PET, CR, US, and MG, as well as many multimedia formats including JPEG, TIFF, PDF, DOC, DOCX, and TXT.

Because Cloud VNAs are designed for the internet, they provide important additional benefits like ease of image transfer, portals to share imaging with referring physicians or patients, and medical image viewers that can be accessed anywhere at any time.  With cloud delivery, these classes of VNA solution also often deliver significant cost and maintenance benefits for providers.

Cloud-based Vendor Neutral Archive powered by Ambra

Why is it Beneficial to Host a VNA in the Cloud?

Organizations streamlining their imaging stacks are focusing on integration and interoperability, from improving relationships with referring physicians, to integrating imaging with their EHR and improving physician productivity.

Anytime, Anywhere Access

The cloud eliminates burdensome VPNs by consolidating disparate imaging systems into one scalable cloud repository.  Cloud storage like a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) provides instant access to secondary versions of medical images and priors if primary data becomes unavailable due to an IT or natural disaster. Vendors like Ambra upgrade and strengthen business continuity plans through powerful split-merge technology that provides a secure solution for storing patient data. Leading healthcare providers across the globe rely on cloud VNAs to reduce risk and provide 24/7  trusted access to imaging.

Vendor Neutral Archive in the cloud has the following benefits include anywhere access, routing and scalability.

Automated Routing

Using the cloud, facilities can tailor imaging data flow to referring physicians and users within third-party applications with flexible, permissions-based access. With intelligent and configurable retention rules, a Cloud VNA can purge imaging and related data automatically, eliminating both manual effort and reducing risk.

Elastic Scalability for Growth

Cloud vendors can easily move your data into a Cloud VNA. Ambra provides a complete range of consultative migration approaches, from moving your entire library, to a phased migration where you’ll be up and running in days. An elastic cloud structure accommodates ever increasing image volumes, systems, users, and organizations without the need to worry about provisioning more infrastructure and resources.

Can I Have an Example?

Jefferson Radiology chose to move a portion of their stack to Ambra’s cloud VNA, unlocking significant benefits, including eliminating VPNs between providers, consolidating four systems to one (VNA, exchange, disaster recovery, and CD management), saving time with automated routing, and realizing thirty percent in cost savings related to image management.

Cloud VNA and Deconstructed PACS Best Practices eBook

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About Catherine Slotnick

Catherine Slotnick is a passionate healthcare marketer with a deep interest in the latest & greatest in the Health IT space. As Ambra Health's marketing manager, Catherine primarily focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership content in the radiology and informatics space. Catherine graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology & Art History. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and petting dogs that aren't hers.

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