With the technological improvements in radiology come some major advantages, but with some challenges, namely in data storage. Image quality has improved drastically, but that means file sizes have also increased in size, causing some storage issues along the way.

Radiology departments are faced with a conundrum – meeting current storage needs while implementing solutions that will tackle tomorrow’s problems, all while trying to find a suitable solution that doesn’t break the budget. It’s an issue most critical care, rural and specialty facilities face today.

On-Premise or Cloud-Based?

It wasn’t long ago that on-premise data storage was the norm. This required extra IT staff to manage the servers, update the software and take care of all hardware and software maintenance issues. As file sizes continue to grow, purchasing terabytes of new storage is neither cost effective nor a good use of IT personnel time.

For many healthcare providers, going to a cloud-based data storage system is the answer. It’s an easily scalable solution as your need for more storage presents itself. Rather than purchasing a hard drive for your on-premise solution, waiting for it to arrive and then going through the tedious process of installing it, you have a seamless and instantaneous scale up through your cloud-based vendor.

Furthermore, utilizing the cloud frees up your IT staff to handle more pressing issues that can positively impact your daily operations rather than maintain servers.

Taking the Vendor Neutral Approach

Data storage space requirements are a critical element in providing exceptional radiology services, but none of that matters if you’re having a tough time accessing and sharing images. This is why you should partner with a PACS vendor that offers vendor neutral archiving, or VNA.

VNAs give you the ability to share images among departments, which is something that can be a bit of a hurdle if each department is using technology from disparate technology companies. When you are put in with a quality VNA solution, you’re going to have no problem retrieving data from any PACS vendor while transparently migrating between storage platforms from any storage vendor.

Look for VNA solutions that offer a complete suite of DICOM SOP classes. It must also support the most inclusive DICOM query/retrieve specification. ADT updates are important, too, which is why your VNA should be able to handle these updates for all image files stored in the archive. Finally, your VNA must be truly non-proprietary, which means it will be able to store all objects in a format understood by the community at large.

At OffSite Image Management, we are the provider of true VNA. Our solutions are geared toward critical care hospitals, rural and specialty facilities that are often left out of the mix when it comes to getting top-notch data storage solutions at an affordable price. Contact us and let’s discuss how we can improve your workflow while saving you money.