UKRC 2013: Vendor Neutrality and Interoperability—What Does that Mean for You?

Ignace Wautier, Business Development Management Northern Europe, HCIS, Carestream

Ignace Wautier, Business Development Management Northern Europe, HCIS, Carestream

In a renewal market such as the UK, the availability of archived data is one of the biggest concerns of the NHS trusts. PACS and clinical application vendors are regularly changed in healthcare facilities and these healthcare professionals should not have to worry about the availability data or its migration during installation of a different vendor.

On 11 June at UKRC 2013, I will be presenting, “Carestream Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), an Oxymoron?” Carestream has noticed that its customers want to keep control and ownership of data they produce. Recent NHS renewals have shown it is not always easy for customers to get their data archived or transferred to new PACS or clinical applications. Because of this, it has reached the point where some PACS vendors that provide clinical archives as part of PACS quote expensive professional services to transfer data from the legacy archive to the archive of the new PACS/Clinical application provider.

Customers want to archive not only DICOM data from radiology, but also other clinical data related to a patient-centric archive. They also wish to reduce costs by having one single archive for the whole institution/group/region/country, as well as the ability to increase performances and speed of the data transfer.

These trends show that the market is changing with an increase of collaboration between sites, trust, region, and the customers are looking for easy solution to securely share the data. Vendor neutral archives (VNAs) have proven that they are the ideal foundation for data sharing.

But what is a VNA? An issue with this technology is that there is no single definition. Each archive provider commercialises their own VNA version.

How do you find the right compromise between pure neutrality and performances?

What about IHE profiles? XDS? BPPC?

The aim of my presentation is to review different VNA definitions and come with a proposal that fit the needs of healthcare IT institutions in the UK.

Based on “expensive” transition experience some customers are reluctant to work with a traditional PACS provider to implement a new VNA. But all the PACS providers are not the same. Some have a portfolio of solutions that use a neutral archive as a foundation to build their complete healthcare proposal adding applications modules.

Carestream is a pioneer in this domain. We introduced the first VNA in 2003. We constantly developed our solution to integrate new healthcare standards and fit accordingly to market needs. Our large VNA install base around the world proves this.

In conclusion, when you look for a VNA, you need to chose a partner open to listen and understand your need. Deep analysis is needed to understand goals you want to reach.

To get in touch with Carestream at UKRC 2013, you can find us at stand 20 or click on the link for more information.

UPDATE – 12 June, 2013: Below is an embedded version of the presentation I gave at UKRC on June 11, 2013