In part 1 of this series, we covered the factors that are driving the need for hospitals to adopt an enterprise-wide patient imaging strategy, ie, the “why?”. The focus of part 2 is the “how?”, where we’ll lay out the technology components of a Clinical Data Repository solution.

The software application that enables a hospital to build a centralized pool of patient data is a Vendor Neutral Archive, or “VNA”. A VNA essentially brings all unstructured patient data under one roof, eliminating the data fragmentation that hinders care cycles and unlocking valuable insights for doctors.

Gartner – Patient data is the new currency of our health care system.

VNAs interface with all major PACS systems and with devices and equipment that generate non-DICOM data types such as MPEG, WAV, PDF, and the like. A VNA works in concert with the command center of every hospital, the EHR system, to simplify clinician access and foster collaborative care. Leading VNA providers include Fujifilm, Hyland Software, and NTT Data.

To deliver clinical benefits and meet ROI objectives, a VNA must have a strong foundation for data management – a storage infrastructure that provides universal data access, high availability, robust security, and high performance. Further, to accommodate IT’s concerns about cost, growth, and agility, the storage must be constructed in a modular fashion so that investments can be made incrementally and changes can be made non-disruptively. Finally, to future-proof the organization for emerging constructs like mobile point-of-care and population analytics, the storage must be extensible into the Public Cloud to tap into its advanced offerings.

As a hospital formulates its consolidated imaging plan for 2020 and beyond, the VNA it selects to create a Clinical Data Repository should be coupled with Scale-Out Storage from SwiftStack. SwiftStack is compatible with the leading VNA products while also attaching to legacy PACS systems to aid with transitions. Essentially, SwiftStack is the data backbone of a VNA, protecting patient data and delivering it to skilled clinicians, simplifying operational matters for IT, and facilitating new Cloud-centric models. And, hospitals that are customers of Cisco Systems get the additional bonus of Cisco selling and supporting the full solution: SwiftStack software packaged with Cisco UCS storage servers.


Solution overview: DICOM and non-DICOM data sets are stored on SwiftStack, which manages the data across both on-premises infrastructure and Public Cloud services. SwiftStack connects to both VNAs and PACS systems, forming a Clinical Data Repository.


We’ll close out this series with a view of Medical Imaging strategies from inside the hospital CIO’s office. Please watch for part 3: Consulting with a Medical Imaging Expert – an Interview

About Author

Greg Govatos

Greg Govatos

Greg Govatos is the VP of Strategic Partnerships for SwiftStack.