The need for reliable storage of healthcare images is as great as ever. The use of a vendor neutral archive as a centralized location for all a provider's images was once thought to be a cure for the use of multiple picture archiving and communication systems that scattered patient images to different areas within an organization.
That notion is dissipating as more healthcare facilities decide to use VNAs and PACS together to both store and share their medical images. Those two options are no longer the only choices in the imaging game, as cloud-based hosting of data is catching on in imaging departments. Cloud isn't the only relative newcomer to the medical imaging world. 3D printing is allowing healthcare professionals such as neurosurgeons create and study unique models of brain aneurysms prior to operating on a patient.
Radiology is one medical specialty that depends on imaging systems to conduct and save their work. This guide takes a trip through the 2015 edition of the Radiological Society of North America's Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, a conference where vendors showed off their latest imaging products and systems, and healthcare professionals went to get an education on the ever-changing industry.
The following collection of podcasts, videos, news and tip stories lends insight into how PACS, healthcare VNAs and other imaging systems and tools are being used by customers. Experts also analyze how imaging technology has propelled the healthcare industry forward and what work needs to be done in the future to support radiologists and other imaging employees.
1Comparing PACS and VNAs-
The advantages of a vendor neutral archive
Current or potential vendor neutral archive users want VNAs to help them with internal image sharing, workflow efficiency and reducing the costs of storing and transmitting images, according to a SearchHealthIT survey of healthcare executives. Articles in this guide section cover how VNAs can help providers achieve those goals. VNAs customers are generally satisfied with how well the systems store and help them retrieve information, but there are some areas where they'd like to see improvement. Some healthcare VNA users have had difficulty with some of the most basic aspect of their VNA, such as its interface.
Almost 15% of respondents to a SearchHealthIT survey encountered difficulties with the usability of their vendor neutral archive. That wasn't the only reason why VNA storage has yet to fully supplant PACS. Continue Reading
Healthcare providers interested in moving the hosting of their images off site may have a match in the cloud. Continue Reading
2Interoperability, 3D printing -
Imaging innovations and interoperability issues
Neurology departments are taking medical images and creating lifelike models of brain aneurysms through 3D printing. Doing this helps them thoroughly observe a patient's condition and carefully plot their surgical options prior to proceeding with treatment. An expert in the medical imaging field offered his take on what he perceives to be a lack of interoperability in the sharing of medical images. Read the articles in the following section to learn why he thinks the image exchange capabilities of PACS and VNAs need to extend to outside of providers' data networks.
An expert in the field of medical image exchange said that cloud sharing could be one way for healthcare providers to transport their images to other providers' networks. Continue Reading
A Merge Healthcare Incorporated survey revealed how ready its imaging clients believed they were for the ICD-10 transition shortly before the October deadline. Continue Reading
Learn about a healthcare startup that allows patients to match their personal health data with a healthcare professional that has experience treating similar patients. Continue Reading
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3RSNA 2015 news and analysis -
SearchHealthIT's RSNA 2015 coverage
The 101st annual meeting of the RSNA covered all things related to healthcare imaging, including how two separate user organizations are installing radiology software. Shaun Sutner, news and features writer for SearchHealthIT, attended the event and took in many of the exhibits and sessions that covered a multitude of imaging-related specialties. He also spoke to a veteran of radiology IT about his opinion on the direction of innovation in that area.
A user of McKesson Corp.'s workflow intelligence system detailed how it has aided his radiology staff. Continue Reading
RSNA 2015 covered all aspects of medical imaging, from educational sessions to product demonstrations. SearchHealthIT reporter Shaun Sutner recapped his experience at the event. Continue Reading
Rasu Shrestha, M.D., chief innovation officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center sat down to discuss medical imaging innovation in this podcast. Continue Reading
One of the largest radiology providers in the U.S., Cleveland Clinic, is in the process of installing Candescent Health's cloud-based radiology sharing and analytics program. Continue Reading
4Vendor neutral archive videos-
Storing, sharing and securing imaging data
A primary benefit of keeping images stored in one place, such as within a healthcare VNA, is that they should be easy to find. However, an imaging consultant cautions that VNAs and PACS are likely to coexist in the future because neither system alone is capable of fulfilling a healthcare organization's imaging needs. Watch the following videos to find out why security is a big reason why some healthcare facilities may stick with PACS and VNAs instead of turning to cloud imaging storage.
Hospitals using VNAs to hold most of their stored data should find it simple to recover a specific patient record or piece of data when looking for it.
Independent imaging consultant Michael Gray explained why PACS 3.0 will work cooperatively with VNAs, instead of trying to replace them.
In a continuation of the previous video, Michael Gray shared his thoughts on why providers are uneasy with storing and passing protected health information through cloud sources.
A radiology expert delved into how mobile support of radiology departments is changing the imaging specialty.
Radiologists and other healthcare professionals should be aware that treatment isn't the only way they can help patients.