Top 10 Reasons To Invest In a VNA


Healthcare providers across the world are actively evaluating investment in Vendor neutral archives (VNA) as part of their Enterprise Imaging IT strategy. Do you have all the information you need to prepare a strong business case to justify this investment? Consider the top 10 reasons below to round out your analysis.

1.  Reduced total cost of ownership. A single unified solution to store and distribute data can help reduce the long-term costs of data management; while freeing up your IT resources for other value added care delivery initiatives. Consider the before and after cost scenarios and savings from the following avenues.
a.  Cost of interfaces connecting multiple archives with the EMR
b.  Cost of disparate software and hardware purchases along with the cost of ongoing refreshes and upgrades. Some of this may be sunk cost, but the annual support fee paid on software licenses can be tangible savings.
c.  Cost of lost productivity during upgrades or planned downtimes
d.  Costs of Data migration projects, every time a new archive or PACS is purchased or upgraded
e.  IT personnel costs dedicated to managing multiple archive systems

Another noteworthy cost savings could be the potential reduction in storage costs with Information Lifecycle Management tools that allow you to move, compress or purge data based on your organization’s policy.

2.  Improved access to patient data across your enterprise. With a centralized repository which is typically accessible using a web based viewer connected with the VNA, physicians no longer need to look for different parts of patient records in multiple systems. Access to data at point of care also helps reduce the burden of CDs/DVDs, duplicate exams and repeat tests for clinicians and patients. 

3.  Non DICOM data management. When 80% of healthcare data is projected to be unstructured content1, management and contextualization of this data along with patients DICOM studies can pose another set of challenges. DICOM wrapping has been used as an option but storage of Non DICOM content in its native format using the XDS standards can be more cost effective in the long term and also prevent issues with sharing of this information. VNAs with a visualization solution help weave several components of patient record such as DICOM studies, lab reports, wound pictures, surgical videos etc. thus providing a comprehensive view of patient’s journey.

4.  Image enabled EMR.  Vendor neutral archives can help reducing disruption to clinician workflows, by enabling easy access to patients’ images and reports directly from an EMR or HIS system; allowing a single point of access for a unified  patient view. For organizations, striving to be eligible for the incentives of Meaningful use Stage 2 and choose this as one of the available menu options, this capability can help them demonstrate Image and Imaging results accessibility through an EMR system2.

5.  Ingestion workflow efficiency. Departments that generate visible light images, videos and scanned notes face the challenge of documenting this information in EMR or other systems and updating the patient record.  VNAs with mobile tools allow for slick ingestion of this information from the convenience of mobile devices enhancing workflow efficiency in a variety of care situations. XDS compliant VNAs facilitate storage of these photos as XDS documents in the XDS repository and making it available in the EMR or directly through a web based viewer.

6.  Data governance and security. VNAs allow implementation of standard IT policies and rules around data management, security, data purging and compression regardless of the type and origin of the data. With VNAs, you can additionally leverage a high availability, disaster recovery, and cloud ready infrastructure to help ensure service continuity.

7.  Prepare a foundation for advanced analytics based insights. A centralized standards-based repository of structured and unstructured data can be the foundation for applying advanced predictive analytics for operational, clinical or financial insights.  

8.  Speedy patient care. Disconnected PACS systems can ultimately contribute to pain points for patients. When data sits in siloes, sharing is often not easy. Even if you ignore the cost of CD creation, the time taken by CDs to travel or involvement of human resources in sending the information cannot be ignored. This can result in delays in accessing patients previous records and hence impact patient care. VNAs can potentially solve this critical issue.

9.  Long-term Enterprise wide infrastructure. VNAs are the crucial foundation of your Enterprise Imaging strategy. If you are already on a second or third generation PACS system then you clearly understand the pains surrounding a PACS centric archiving strategy. A VNA centric strategy can unlock your Imaging infrastructure from the confines of dedicated PACS systems, giving you the freedom to plug in other Imaging IT solutions as and when desired. 

10.  Simply stated…the peer factor.  Last but not the least, this is where the market and healthcare provider community is headed anyway and you may not want to stay behind the curve. According to IHS Technology, the VNA market will grow at a CAGR of 16% reaching ~$0.7B globally by 20203. Multi-site multi-ology integrated health systems will be consolidating siloes of data and begin to feed most of their DICOM and also the Non DICOM data into a central vendor neutral repository.

The healthcare industry globally is going through major shifts to control rising costs and improve outcomes. These are forcing changes in the way patient care is managed and delivered by healthcare networks – VNAs can become highly instrumental in executing these changes.

Tell us how you are thinking about VNAs and how Centricity Clinical Archive, the world’s #1 VNA4 can help you in implementing a robust Enterprise Imaging strategy.



2 IBM Analytics,

3 IHS Technology Medical Enterprise Data Storage Market – 2015

4 Market share ranking published by IHS Technology Medical Enterprise Data Storage Market – 2015

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