While medical professionals have more medical imagery resources at their disposal than ever, the technology that generates and stores those images is often proprietary. Nurses, doctors and others who need that information must devote time to retrieving files from disparate systems – something that inevitably takes away from the time that could be spent working with patients.
This frustrating scenario is common enough that it’s given rise to a solution: the vendor neutral archive, or VNA. This acts as a single shared storage environment for this information, pulling together all imagery from multiple platforms. This allows medical staff to make more informed care decisions based on the complete picture of a patient’s condition. The IT department likes them, too – by allowing them to use solutions from multiple vendors, IT is afforded equipment sourcing flexibility and can keep costs down. The shared storage pool also consolidates management to a simpler storage environment where data can be more effectively managed and protected with a reduced IT workload.
Object storage will play an important role in this approach. It’s uniquely suited to the scalability needs of modern medicine – the volume of medical data hospitals must manage is only going up. Object storage allows organizations to start small and scale to petabytes.
As long as that data can be provided to medical professionals in an organized manner, it can be used to help patient outcomes improve. The metadata search capabilities of object storage can help with that.
A VNA also helps make medical data more secure. Storing images in multiple repositories multiplies the security risks and data protection challenges – each silo introduces its own management burdens. By centralizing information, managers can apply security and DR protocols to the data under management in the VNA, making their jobs much easier.
And by the way, object storage can do this at one-third the cost of traditional enterprise storage.
If you’re looking for an example of a VNA and object storage system in action, we have a great example for you. Today, Cloudian and Hyland announced a new solution that combines Cloudian HyperStore with Hyland Acuo VNA. Acuo VNA employs the HyperStore platform to consolidate imaging information from across the healthcare organization to a single storage pool. To read more about the solution, check out the solution brief – or, if you’re going to be at the Health Information Management Systems Society 2018 (HIMSS2018) Conference on Las Vegas March 6-8, stop by booth 1633 and see the power of the solution in person!
Read more in our guide to Medical Record Retention.
This is part of a series of articles about Health Data Management.