Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving


Published on

Vendor Neutral Archives can reduce costs and demands upon system administration while enhancing patient care.

For more information, please visit us at:

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving

  1. 1. White Paper | Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving1How To Create A Patient Centric Clinical RepositoryHealthcare providers faced with burgeoning volumes ofmedical data have two key challenges:1) Creating a secure and scalable vendor-neutral repository that can store imaging studiesand a diverse array of patient information; and2) Equipping on-site and off-site clinicians with rapidaccess to patient-centric information that canenhance care in any environment and image-enableexisting electronic medical record (EMR) systems.This paper outlines the key requirements for an efficiententerprise-wide patient-centric clinical data repository anddescribes how access to relevant patient data and efficientdata sharing can impact cost efficiencies, staff productivityand patient care. In addition to discussing on-site archivingsolutions, we will also describe the option of purchasing aremotely hosted archiving service. This software as aservice (SaaS) model carries a fee-for-use basis that canreduce overall expenses, provide expert IT resources andprotect against equipment obsolescence.Identifying Challenges a Modern Repository MustAddressConsolidating islands of storageHealthcare providers often have dozens of specializedarchiving systems. These dedicated systems increaseacquisition and maintenance costs, while making it difficultto share information. Data silos can be so fragmented thateven a simple task such as knowing the storage utilizationstatus, or balancing storage across different departments,can be impossible. Replacing all of these systems is notfinancially feasible, but establishing a standards-basedsystem-neutral, repository that serves multipledepartments can eliminate future purchases of application-specific storage archives and gradually achieveconsolidation of data.Establish centralized access to diverse patient dataStorage silos with legacy architectures make it difficult forclinicians to access patient data scattered across theenterprise. In most healthcare systems, images may belocated and accessed through departmental PACSsystems (radiology, cardiology and others) while relatedpatient documents such as lab reports, video files, JPEGimages other content are stored in other clinicaldepartmental applications. Typically data needs to beaccessed from each system, which makes the process ofcollecting pertinent patient information both difficult andtime consuming.Additionally, the data must be viewable in a simple toolthat is vendor agnostic, location agnostic, able to view onmultiple platforms such as PCs and iPads, and easilyintegrated into any IT ecosystem. There should beconsiderations such as zero-footprint (no downloadsneeded) and intuitive interfaces to contribute to immediateaccess without training.Lifecycle management redeploys storage spaceInformation lifecycle management software is animportant asset for any data repository. This softwaremanages data by applying storage rules defined by localregulatory requirements and the storage resources ofeach healthcare organization. Rules are specific to thetype of exam since pediatric and mammography exams,for example, may need to be retained for longer periodsthan chest or extremity exams. This management processautomatically deletes exams that no longer need to bestored and allows that space to be reused. This optimizesthe return-on-investment for the storage infrastructure.
  2. 2. White Paper | Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving2Scalability enables greater flexibility, cost savingsArchive architecture needs to be modular and easilyexpandable to allow users to purchase the solution thatmeets today’s requirements, while providing the flexibilityto add more storage, computing power and connectionsas their needs evolve.Built-in data security and businesscontinuity/data recoveryIn addition to security features, every medical archivingsolution needs to be designed with business continuityand data recovery in mind. Government regulationsworldwide require healthcare providers to meet standardsthat restrict data access to authorized users andguarantee backup copies of data that can be used in theevent of an emergency or natural disaster. For maximumfunctionality, these capabilities need to be built into theoriginal archive design.Intelligence Indexing can reduce migration costsWhile medical data must often be stored for many years,IT and storage technologies are often replaced everythree to five years. Consequently, data is often migratedseveral times during its lifecycle. Modern storagesolutions should be capable of integrating next-generation storage hardware and migrating data in amanaged, automated, and secure way. Newly developedworkflow solutions also offer the ability for intelligentlyindexing multiple platforms, providing seamless accessby the end-users - mitigating the need for data migration.Industry restructuring creates large-scaleconsolidationsThe healthcare industry is restructuring through mergers,large private consortiums, and regional and nationalrepositories for information exchange. This trendincreases the need for large-scale solutions capable ofdelivering patient-centric data access to multiple facilitiesand locations, along with advanced features such asmulti-site data synchronization. Interoperability betweenall the IT systems and the tools used by clinicians, is acritical aspect to consider.Steps Required to Create a Patient-CentricClinical RepositoryImplementing a fully secure data repository solves theconsolidation challenge; but the added challenge is tomake it very accessible. Storage systems play animportant role in delivering complete, accurate clinicalinformation into the hands of healthcare professionals.Rapid access to relevant patient data can help enable afaster and more accurate diagnosis—and can ultimatelyenhance the quality of care.Optimal vendor-neutral archiving solution can enable:• Consolidate information from one or more sites orinstitutions and system to ensure interoperability• Create patient-centric portfolio to facilitate exchangeof information across the continuum of care• Ensure data integrity and accuracy through securityand standard-based architecture• Access by clinicians regardless of device, platform orlocation• Embedded or integrated into the organizations EMRor regional strategyCollecting information requires support forindustry standardsEffective information management requires the means toconnect to—and collect—information from many differentclinical systems. Integration among information systemshas always been a challenge, but the healthcare industryhas set up initiatives such as IHE (Integrating theHealthcare Enterprise) that permit more efficientintegration through standards such as DICOM, HL7, XDS,PIX and others. Any healthcare information managementor archiving platform should support these standardprotocols and the related integration scenarios (known asIHE profiles). These platforms should also supportgeneral use interfaces that include transport-level industrystandards such as FTP, CIFS and NFS.
  3. 3. White Paper | Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving3Creating a single patient portfolioCollecting information does not automatically improve useraccess. Achieving more efficient access requires anintelligent platform that can recognize relationshipsbetween documents and systems and then consolidateinformation related to each patient into a single portfolio.This patient portfolio contains documents from multiplespecialties, created in different formats, and acquiredusing multiple protocols. It can involve patient symptomsand medical history, radiology and cardiology exams,laboratory, pathology and radiology reports, and otherdata. Linking data with metadata creates a user-friendlyclinical data repository, which delivers greater value to thehealthcare organization and ultimately the referringphysician and his or her patient. Tag morphing and othersophisticated techniques are employed to facilitateinterconnection between incompatible devices.A modern clinical data repository offers access tothe entire patient record, including clinical imagesas well as other types of records.Consolidation faces a completely new challenge when thescope involves regional or national archives. Because theconnected institutions are not always using a commonpatient identification domain, it becomes difficult torecognize how disparate documents relate to the samepatient. This is another example of an industry-specificchallenge for long-term archive systems: an effectiveclinical data archive must communicate with a MasterPatient Index (MPI) system to reconcile patient identifiersand their documents.Delivering security and data integrityData security goes beyond physical data centermaintenance. Other factors such as data integrity,availability, monitoring, all require comprehensivedesign at network, storage and the application level.Sharing information efficiently among clinical usersWhen considering enterprise-wide access by clinicians,such viewer must comply to standards and capable ofintegrating multiple data types. In addition, having anintuitive graphical user interface mitigates costly andtimely training or maintenance. A zero-footprint, vendor-agnostic viewer that requires no download or training isthe ideal compliment.EMRs and Exchanges need to include imagesMost EMR systems are designed to support a diversity ofdata types and sources, but they do not include imagingstudies, which represent a significant role in a patient’smedical record. Therefore, any enterprise wide repositoryand viewer must be embedded with the EMR or otherexchange portals so that clinicians can easily access aholistic view of the patient record without separate log-onor dedicated workflow.
  4. 4. White Paper | Achieving Cost-Effective, Vendor-Neutral Archiving4CARESTREAM Vue Archive with Vue Motion MeetsEvolving NeedsThe CARESTREAM Vue Archive is a scalable, vendor-neutral repository that collects and receives images anddata from a variety of systems such as imaging exams, laband pathology data, video files, JPEG images and othersto create a cohesive patient portfolio. Users gain rapidaccess to patient-centric information— regardless of thelocation of the data or the clinician.Data is also synchronized to ensure that it is accuratewhen viewed. This Vue Archive has the capability tointelligently connect multiple platforms to present singlepatient worklist to the end-user, without replacing ormigrating existing archives. This is accomplished byextensive tag morphing and indexing rules thatstandardize the way data is presented throughout theenterprise. Communication with other systems is enabledthrough support for DICOM, HL7 and XDS, as well asvarious IT standards.The Archive supports a wide range of architectures andinfrastructures, from departmental and multi-site archivesto regional and national medical archive projects. Becauseit is fully scalable, installations can be expanded easilyand affordably. Archive nodes can serve as backups foreach other, creating an imaging grid that supportsbusiness continuity. Specialized management tools allowviewing of data at any level to reduce administrative costsand enable remote, web-based management of thearchive.It applies clinical information lifecycle management to thedata based on clinical attributes such as the type ofmedical document, the type of imaging exam conducted,and the patient’s age. This solution is vendor-independent because it supports all types of storageplatform in any mix, radiology, cardiology, pathology andother clinical departments.Carestream Health’s encryption and security measuresmeet rigorous patient privacy regulations used bycountries across the globe. The platform’s multiple tiersof security mechanisms ensure data is accessed only byauthorized individuals. It also provides monitoring ofsecurity threats and protects the system from tampering.The need for real time imaging results for enterpriseusers commands intuitive solutions with simple accesstechnology. CARESTREAM Vue Motion is a zerofootprint viewer that can be easily accessed on the flyusing only a web browser or information embedded inthe EMR portal. Vue Motion is FDA cleared for iPadmobile use.In conclusion, the CARESTREAM Vue for VendorNeutral Archiving solution is a powerful and flexiblecombination of archive and viewer that satisfies theinformation management challenges of an evolvinghealthcare industry. It reduces operating costs whileenhancing patient care. Its advanced functionality is bestevidenced by its implementation at some of the largesthealthcare systems and HMOs in the world.Cloud Archiving Services Offers SaaS ModelThe same functionality of the Vue Archive and VueMotion is also available in the form of a SaaS solutioncalled Vue Cloud Services. Purchasing archivingcapabilities as a fee-per-use service lowers total cost ofownership by reducing the investment in capitalequipment, security technology and managementpersonnel. This cloud-based service also eliminates thedanger of equipment obsolescence since CarestreamHealth continuously maintains and upgrades its datacenters and on-site technology.The company’s Vue Cloud currently has more than thirtybillion stored images worldwide, representing more than1 PB of data. The company operates ten data centerswith a mix of both public and Health 150 Verona Street Rochester, NY 14608Carestream is a trademark of Carestream Health© Carestream Health, 2012. 04/2012. Cat# 300 1005