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Where the vendor neutral archive stands in medical imaging

There are numerous specialties that interact with medical imaging systems. This guide helps explain how those systems, such as vendor neutral archives, are changing workflows and how imaging information is shared.


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.


The vendor neutral archive as an imaging hub

Storage flexibility and centralization are two benefits of using a vendor neutral archive, but providers shouldn't expect a VNA implementation to immediately fix their imaging problems. Continue Reading


SearchHealthIT survey respondents take issue with VNA design

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


Is the replacement for VNA storage already on the market?

Healthcare providers interested in moving the hosting of their images off site may have a match in the cloud. Continue Reading


VNAs fit to replace PACS in some ways

A health IT analyst pointed to image storage as an area in which VNAs are more capable than PACS. Continue Reading


Enterprise imaging was on the HIMSS 2015 agenda

Imaging topics such as multi-platform access, cross-system collaboration and EHR integration were discussed by health IT professionals at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference. 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.


3D printing helps supplement medical imaging

A neurosurgeon describes the process he uses to create 3D models of medical conditions, such as a brain aneurysm, prior to performing an operation on a patient. Continue Reading

Blog Post

More medical uses of 3D printing

Hospitals around the country are combining medical imaging and 3D printing to help practice and research procedures. Find out how 3D printing is being used in the prosthetics specialty. Continue Reading


The exchange of medical images must be more interoperable

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

Blog Post

Enterprise imaging clients not so sure of their ICD-10 preparedness

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

Blog Post

Use your personal health data to shop for physicians

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

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.


McKesson Corp. displayed its imaging wares at RSNA 2015

A user of McKesson Corp.'s workflow intelligence system detailed how it has aided his radiology staff. Continue Reading


RSNA 2015 representative of the growth of healthcare imaging

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


Cloud, analytics, 3D printing to be part of the future of imaging

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


Cleveland Clinic in the midst of radiology installation

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


RSNA event about more than radiology

Radiology wasn't the only healthcare specialty represented at RSNA 2015. Listen to this podcast to find out what other medical groups were spotted at the conference. Continue Reading


Previewing RSNA 2015

Go back to before RSNA 2015 and see if the expectations for the event lived up to the reality. 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.


The upside of vendor neutral archives as central repositories

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.


Medical imaging expert on PACS 3.0 and VNAs

Independent imaging consultant Michael Gray explained why PACS 3.0 will work cooperatively with VNAs, instead of trying to replace them.


Providers sensitive about data protection in the cloud

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.


More mobility frees up clinicians to interact with PACS

A radiology expert delved into how mobile support of radiology departments is changing the imaging specialty.


Gamification and improving the patient experience

Radiologists and other healthcare professionals should be aware that treatment isn't the only way they can help patients.

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