Flexibility is becoming a key attribute for the successful healthcare enterprise. For those managing and improving diagnostic imaging, “Vendor Neural Archive” (VNA) has moved from a buzzword for industry insiders to the daily lexicon.
Why the change? Incorporating a VNA into an infrastructure is transforming from idealistic desire to logical necessity.
A recent article written by Dr. Rasu B. Shrestha and published in Applied Radiology, effectively outlines the benefits of implementing a VNA. In his article entitled “Enterprise vendor neutral archive: Guide to riding the bandwagon”, Dr. Shrestha discusses the previous slow pace of expansion of VNAs and explains why this trend is quickly reversing.
Although there is debate in the industry about how best to engage this strategy, here are some of the benefits, which drive the debate:
- Reduce Cost: By centrally managing data in a vendor neutral format, it is easier for the institution to both manage data and develop additional interfaces that are required for the emerging world of networked care. Upgrading and adding systems no longer requires costly data migrations and enables institutions to take advantage of new tools, regardless of vendor.
- Flexibility: Hand-in-hand with cost reduction is the flexibility a VNA provides a health care system. Decoupling information from PACS and proprietary formats results in making it easy to add new systems, tools, and modalities on a best of breed basis. An archive separate from PACS also provides important disaster recovery capabilities at a low price point. In the event a PACS is down, VNAs are often able to provide DR capability, greatly reducing loss of productivity and ensuring ongoing ability to deliver patient care.
- Accessibility: A VNA, properly configured, allows for image access across expansive networks. This can provide the core capability needed to manage new business models as well as to implement image exchange and sharing systems.
At DICOM Grid, we have been developing these themes as well as providing the capability to deliver our software both as an onsite software installations, as well as a software as a service model. This flexibility is important as institutions begin to consider cloud and hybrid offerings.
To learn more read Dr. Shrestha’s article, where he classed DICOM Grid a “thoroughbred” in the VNA marketplace.