In our previous blog, we discussed in detail about the Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) including relevant definitions, its components, key features, and uses.
Now, let’s take a closer look at just how VNAs can assist healthcare providers optimize their medical imaging operations and increase business growth. Five major advantages of leveraging a Vendor Neutral Archive involve:
- Notable Cost Savings
- Enhanced Interoperability and Data Exchange
- Consolidated Storage Architecture/Uncomplicated Data Viewing
- Lifecycle Management/Better Technology Management
- Reliable Data Security and Protection
For an insightful snapshot of a VNA’s advantages, we have created a visual resource for you:
Vendor Neutral Archive Advantages
Healthcare organizations, particularly those engaged in enterprise imaging, can experience impressive benefits upon implementing a VNA. VNA systems can be advantageous to positively impacting healthcare operations by way of:
1. Notable Cost Savings
For many healthcare organizations currently using a VNA system, its contribution to their flourishing bottom lines is indisputable and a VNA’s benefits regarding financial health are unmistakable.
Historically, for healthcare providers venturing the arduous and financially burdensome process of medical imaging system replacement or upgrade, the greatest obstacle to navigate has been the cost factor attributed to data migration. These migration costs tend to outweigh the cost of system replacement itself. Many of today’s VNA solutions are geared to address this: the VNA’s fundamental design is focused on consolidation thereby enabling users to exercise control of their data management, including migration activities, independent of vendor. This data management control presents VNA implementation as a more economical, painless choice…with considerable financial benefits.
In a Journal of Digital Imaging article detailing successful implementation of a VNA and EI solution, the profiled organization reported an initial overall cost savings of 10% with “30% reduction in storage costs, superior support for disaster recovery, and 80% decrease in unscheduled outages. All these were achieved despite a 120% increase in archive retrieval needs and a 40% growth in image production.”
2. Enhanced Interoperability and Data Exchange
Healthcare organizations utilizing EMR/EHR solutions along with health information exchanges (HIEs) to facilitate system and region-wide service reach commonly experience the pain point of the lack in sufficient integration support. For enterprise scale establishments and consortiums, this is incredibly problematic in the face of operating a multitude of diverse systems tasked with processing medical images and clinical-related data at any given time.
Powerful VNAs offer the preeminent advantage of acting as a single integration point for data stored by diverting the burden of integration from every separate clinical system connected into the organization’s network. The substantial benefits of this minimization of interfaces and streamlined VNA integration include lowered costs, an accelerated testing and adoption process, and a simplified standard of support.
3. Consolidated Storage Architecture/Uncomplicated Data Viewing
Curtailing existing inter-system silos while streamlining data storage lie at the core of a VNA’s design. In conjunction with that is its innate ability for clinical image and object management across the board, independent of generating specialty or medical imaging system. Diminishing system intricacy via the VNA’s centralized storage architecture helps organizations to elevate their operational efficiency resulting in improved reliability and lower total cost of ownership.
In the conventional clinical setting, clinicians wrestle with the persistent challenge of utilizing various systems to access patient images with each solution employing a different proprietary viewer. Many of these viewers are web based with differing compatibility to existing in-market browsers and versions. As a result, many calls are made to IT from frustrated clinicians seeking assistance in handling the recurrent browser-related upgrade (or “downgrade”) prompts or operating system replacement error messages. To ameliorate this common issue, many VNA solutions available today come equipped with a single viewer – whether supplied by the vendor or provided via a third-party service – thereby simplifying the viewing experience at the clinical end while alleviating IT support resourcing.
4. Lifecycle Management/Better Technology Management
Quintessential VNA solutions exceed PACS system-level data management in offering comprehensive image lifecycle management (ILM). Keeping in mind retention periods of five to seven years apply to almost all image information, bona fide ILM a) allows the employment of storage tiers leading to optimized total cost savings of long-term data archiving as well as b) supports corporate data purging guidelines towards abated or eradicated legal liabilities. Furthermore, a VNA’s flexibility and durability in integrating new applications and additional archive assets is ideal for growing healthcare organizations expanding their networks. This VNA contribution to an organization’s viability also provides cascading beneficial effects including boosted data security, workflow management, and disaster recovery (business continuity support).
5. Reliable Data Security and Protection
For the majority of hospitals and other healthcare providers (68%), securing patient data is a top organizational priority. Implementing a VNA system and leveraging its inherent centralized storage architecture in conjunction with utilizing enterprise data management principles and accepted IT protocols can be crucial in helping organizations actualize improved – and industry standard compliant (e.g., HIPAA, etc.) – data security.
Data security is assured with a VNA’s capability to foster sweeping auditing and reporting. Likewise, the provision of adequate audit trails has a direct effect on an organization’s ability to proficiently steward the privacy and security of its patient data.
Protection of organizational data can also be advanced with a VNA system. Solid data protection and replication can be made less strenuous by way of the VNA’s vendor-independent, consolidated cross-platform data management functionality.
Aside from notable time savings of better focused IT teams, the exemplary data security and protection facilitated by a VNA can also translate into added operational cost savings with decreased expenditures for amelioration and related resourcing as well as reputational damage due to data breaches. In this regard, the advantage of a VNA is endless!
Whether regarding RamSoft’s innovative medical imaging software solutions or wishing to leverage all the advantages of VNA implementation, our team of experts are excited to learn more about you and what you’re looking for in transforming your medical imaging practice! Connect with us today and let’s get the conversation started.