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Vendor neutral archives will coexist with PACS 3.0

This is part one of a two-part video series featuring medical imaging expert Michael Gray. SearchHealthIT recorded the videos at RSNA 2015 in Chicago. Here, Gray went over vendor neutral archives and PACS 3.0. In part two, Gray discussed protected health information in the cloud.

CHICAGO -- Vendor neutral archives have been hot for a while now.

But in this video from RSNA 2015, the Radiological Society of North America's 101st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, independent medical imaging consultant Michael Gray said PACS 3.0 -- a concept with which Gray is closely associated -- are also coming up quickly.

And rather than replacing vendor neutral archives as the mega-buckets that the biggest healthcare providers use to store and retrieve advanced medical images from, picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) 3.0 will work with vendor neutral archives, Gray said.

The PACS 3.0 "paradigm," according to a recent post on Gray's blog, is really an enterprise workflow-worklist application based on the vendor neutral archive.

That application is the "brain" of the PACS 3.0, which, importantly, interoperates with the EHR used by the imaging department's parent healthcare organization, Gray said in the video.

So, in Gray's paradigm, vendor neutral archives will combine with advanced image visualization and workflow-worklist applications for radiologists and practitioners of other imaging-intensive medical specialties to form PACS 3.0.

As for radiology information systems, they are gradually being replaced by radiology IT components of EHRs, Gray said.

Gray also addressed the affordability of all these snazzy technologies. He maintained that buying an advanced PACS or vendor neutral archive could save money for smaller hospitals by allowing them to avoid costly data migrations in the future.

The biggest advantage of true vendor neutral archives, which are used in some 300 provider organizations across the country, Gray said, is giving providers the ability "to take ownership of data instead of asking vendors for it."

"PACS don't really speak very well to each other," Gray said.

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