Move to vendor neutral archive a hospital budget booster

A vendor-neutral archive solution can save institutions millions of dollars--almost $3 million over five years in the case of a Philadelphia hospital--according to a presentation delivered recently at a regional meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine.

As reported in an article in AuntMinnie.com, Christopher Tomlinson, administrative director for radiology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said in his presentation that the savings resulted from avoiding the costs associated with a conventional picture archiving and communication system storage solution.

Children's installed a VNA in 2009 after determining that the solution provided a number of benefits. For example, the hospital determined that going with a traditional PACS storage strategy would have cost $2.84 million due to conversion, migration, project management and other costs, all of which were avoided by going to with the VNA.

Additionally, the VNA worked with any application, hardware vendor, or storage tier. Efficiency was improved and patient care upgraded as the VNA allowed physicians to view any patient image record from their own desktop, and enabled physicians across departments--from radiology and cardiology to oncology and nuclear medicine--to look at images from their own desktops, as well.

When deciding to purchase a VNA, Tomlinson said, a facility should be prepared to cut through any sales and marketing hype, engage the information systems department in the process, and create an enterprise imaging government committee composed of members of departments that create data (like radiology) and use data (like the emergency department).

VNA is rapidly gaining more of a share of the image storage market. A report published last May by InMedica determined that in 2011, out of 1.4 billion new radiology studies captured by PACS worldwide, 75 million were stored by VNA--a VNA to PACS attach rate of 5.4 percent. InMedica predicted that rate will increase to 31 percent by 2016.

And a study in December determined that about one-third of the U.S. hospital market has adopted a vendor neutral archive solution; another 19 percent of those surveyed said they plan to do so within the next two years.

To learn more:
- see the article in AuntMinnie.com
- take a look at the InMedica report

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