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Humor us for a moment, and try to forget the phrase Vendor Neutral Archive. While being a highly sought after solution, it's created a diversion from key areas, such as viewing, where Vendor Neutrality is perhaps more important. Your archiving strategy should seamlessly align with your viewing needs. However, taking a data first approach to enterprise imaging will often disappoint your clinical users. By taking a viewer first approach, you can positively impact the physician experience if your viewing partner is truly vendor neutral.
When it comes to viewing, vendor neutrality must apply to both ends of the imaging chain- the acquisition and the display thereafter. The brands of scanners and devices that create images are as varied as the patients they test and without a doubt you have an assortment of makes and models. Many of these vendors have tried to capture more of your budget by creating proprietary file types or compression schemas that can only be read by their proprietary workstations and stored in their proprietary archives. On the other side of the viewing experience, Radiology PACS and other departmental imaging solutions are similar in nature, and many health systems are in the midst of deciding how to handle the 5, 10, or more of these systems that they've acquired over the years. Someone must be the bridge between the multitude of vendor specific acquisitions and archives - accessing, processing and displaying images regardless of where they originated or who is viewing them.
Partnering with a vendor who can deliver a neutral viewer that scales across your entire organization allows you to leverage the investments you've already made in both modalities and archives. Rather than ripping and replacing incompatible systems, you can extend your current systems to accommodate your budget and project plans. Speaking of projects, a vendor neutral viewer also makes way for unrestricted future projects. By eliminating the pains of proprietary file types or processing, images can be viewed and distributed without the mandate of a single vendor, ensuring freedom of choice for future purchases. Beyond all those benefits, vendor neutral viewing ensures that you maintain interoperability standards and experience more flexibility when interfacing.
PACS companies made it painfully obvious years ago that a new paradigm in archiving was needed - no arguments there. We appreciate the emphasis it's brought to vendor neutrality. We've led by example on the viewing front since our inception but there's no time like the present to highlight the value a vendor neutral viewing partner can provide.
As you prepare for future consolidation projects, learn more about your options by downloading our eBook: “VNA Origins: Knowing where various Vendor Neutral Archives found their roots can help determine the right archiving strategy for your organization."