Providers: Consider VNA, cloud computing during PACS replacement

While the U.S. PACS market is relatively mature, providers continually are thinking about replacement options. In a commentary published at, Herman Oosterwijk, president of Aubrey, Texas-based OTech, a healthcare imaging and IT company, gives several suggestions on what organizations should consider when taking such steps.

First, he said, to avoid multiple data migrations in the future, organizations should disconnect their PACS database or image manager and use a different vendor other than their PACS vendor for the archive. "[J]ust for the sake of being able to go with other vendors in the future without massive, lengthy, and costly data migrations, a [Vendor Neutral Archive] from a different vendor makes every sense in the world," Oosterwijk said. Additionally, he added, using a VNA allows an organization to more easily implement an enterprise PACS solution.

Oosterwijk also said that when replacing a PACS, an organization must determine which information is clinically important and critical in order to migrate that data. What's more, he said, institutions should phase out the process of importing and exporting of CDs, and instead look to alternatives such as the cloud.

With regard to the cloud, Oosterwijk said, outsourcing storage could make sense for some institutions. Those that have security and privacy concerns, however, also could choose to keep storage in house by creating their own clouds.

Despite Oosterwijk's suggestions, a Frost & Sullivan report published last September that the market for picture archiving and communication systems is set for slow but steady growth in coming years as healthcare organizations replace legacy systems and adopt new image and information management platforms. Specifically, the market is estimated to reach $1.4 billion in 2018, according to the report.

To learn more:
- see the commentary in


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