For the past several months, we’ve discussed how a vendor neutral archive will consolidate your medical images and data access points, liberating your data from proprietary file formats associated with PACS applications, enhancing data integrity and preparing you to navigate the slippery slopes of disaster recovery and business continuity. VNA will revolutionize your organization’s ability to store data, share data and protect private health information. But there is even more to the picture. The adoption of VNA will dramatically benefit you bottom line.
Economies of Scale
VNA solutions help hospitals harvest tremendous cost advantages by leveraging economies of scale. Costs decrease and organizational efficiencies increase when you centralize your archive, versus attempting to manage multiple PACS archives. The cost benefits can further blossom over time as your operation grows.
Eliminating Data Migration Roadblocks
VNA eliminates the stumbling blocks proprietary file formats present during the migration from one PACs or storage system to another. Before VNA, providers were required to budget additional resources for data migration to cover the added costs of “translating” disparate file formats and dedicating IT staff hours to babysit tedious transfers. With VNA, there is no need to translate file formats and additional supervision is eliminated. This particular cost savings grows over time as migration from PACS to PACS becomes less necessary.
Taking the “A” from PACS
We are fond of saying that VNA removes the “A” for “archive” from PACS. In the past, providers were required to purchase separate archive storage for each and every PACS in their network. Depending on the number of PACS, this expense could become prohibitive. VNA, by funneling the data from all PACS into one centralized archive, dramatically reduces the overall cost of data storage. As an added benefit of removing the “A,” providers “own” their own data, simplifying their central access to key data that was previously warehoused deeply within a PACS.
Limit the Unabated Growth of Medical Data
VNA addresses another age-old, cost-inducing issue: how to deal with legacy data and images that are no longer relevant. It’s been determined that images typically account for 60 to 80 percent of a provider’s storage footprint. VNA can enable Image Lifecycle Management (ILM), which assists providers in legally and safely purging dated data. ILM allows providers to custom configure parameters for security and expiration policies. Obviously, there is tremendous financial benefit in limiting the unabated growth of data to be archived.
Trimming the Fat
By creating a centralized archive, VNA assists in the ongoing process of organizing images. The proper archiving and exchange of images can help eliminate duplicate studies. Many of these studies, generated due to ACO requirements and other insurance programs, are less and less likely to get reimbursed. This type of study, with very little historical relevance and zero fiduciary importance, should be weeded from your archive.
The Bottom Line
While the benefits of a vendor neutral archive are exceedingly clear from a process point of view, the financial benefits may be just as attractive.