Article • Stress-free data management
Coming your way: Vendor neutral archives
Vendor Neutral Archives (VNA) will become an integral part of every hospital in the near future. So what’s a VNA?
In short, a medical imaging technology in which images, documents and potentially any file are stored in a standard format with standard interfaces that enable other systems – independent of their vendor – to access it.
At the 2015 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) convention, that acronym could be heard in educational sessions and around the exhibition – as it will no doubt be again at the end of this February and early March in Las Vegas. Infinitt’s VNA, the Infinitt Healthcare Platform (IHP), is not just an average vendor neutral enterprise storage solution, the manufacturer point out. ‘It not only archives, manages and distributes, but also allows users to share all DICOM and non-DICOM data, including audio, video, and document files. Also, as the IHP complies with major industry and security standards, such as HIPPA, HL7, IHE, its integration into other systems becomes easy.‘Furthermore, it supports RESTful APIs and open APIs, making data integration from other systems possible.’
Does that mean the IHP takes over all existing systems, such as departmental PACS, costing the hospital previous financial and technology investments? ‘No,’ the firm reports. ‘Instead, the IHP integrates with any major hospital systems including EMR, making cross-departmental and cross-enterprise referrals much easier.
‘Moreover, the IHP maximises data management efficiency and reduces overall cost, by supporting intelligent Information Lifecycle Management (ILM). ILM refers to a wide-ranging set of strategies, from removing unnecessary studies automatically, based on configurable rules for moving and deleting data, over exceptions (exception conditions setting) to real-time system monitoring.’ Another advantage of the IHP is an accompanying zero-footprint viewer (Universal Viewer, ULite) where both DICOM and non-DICOM data can be viewed. ‘This patient-centric viewer allows you to see a comprehensive view of each patient, helping you to have better clinical insights,’ the company points out. ‘All together, the IHP will make medical data sharing and collaboration easier, removing PACS and storage migrations needs in the future, eventually cutting IT management costs and profiting you with a smoother workflow and full data ownership.’
Optimising radiological procedures
X-rays used in medical diagnosis and treatment became daily routine. ‘Although the methods have become more precise and medical devices achieve better results with even smaller amount of radiation dose, a certain exposure to the patient is inevitable. Taken this into account, the most basic guideline of medical radiation protection, the ALARA-principle (As Low As Reasonable Achievable) is always followed,’ Infinitt reports. ‘To achieve continuous improvements of image quality while reducing radiation dose, specific management systems are required that provide the relevant information and assistance. According to the implementation plans of the EURATOM Directive into national laws (e.g. X-ray Radiation Protection Regulation), a dose management system will be an integral part of the legal requirements.’
Infinitt DoseM is a modality and vendor independent, web-based portal solution for management support and quality assurance optimisation. The system provides
- Daily reports and alerts, in case of exceedance of in-house and legal reference values, which are sent automatically via email to the responsible radiation protection officer
- Configurable dashboards providing information about the patient, X-ray facility, exam types and protocols with the respective evaluations and charts of dose values and parameters
- Integration with existing information systems e.g. KIS, RIS and PACS
- Issues relevant data for economic analyses.