What is a Vendor Neutral Archive?

Lexmark LogoThe Case for VNA

Bring together clinical content from across departments

The need for a vendor neutral archive (VNA) spans your entire organization including imaging departments, clinicians, executives and IT. There are three primary drivers behind a VNA within the healthcare organization including a move to a centralized storage model, PACS replacement and organizational realignment.

Drivers for VNA

A VNA supports a central access and storage model by unifying clinical content, DICOM and non-DICOM, from all ‘ologies while managing that content’s exponential growth. Without a VNA, clinical content is spread across departmental silos and is inaccessible from the EMR.

Expected growth of image archives per year1

Changing or replacing your legacy PACS is another driver for VNA. As you develop a new PACS strategy you will need to consider:

  • How clinicians will seamlessly access images regardless of the PACS system
  • How you can eliminate future migrations
  • How you can significantly reduce storage costs

VNA is the answer for all three.

Acquisitions, mergers and accountable care models are the third main driver for VNA. These organizational changes are fueling initiatives around population management and cost-cutting that requires sustainable information sharing and collaboration. A VNA supports collaboration across care specialties and between organizations by delivering real-time access to patient information at the point of need.

Furthermore, government mandates for demonstration of data’s meaningful use bring additional pressures and deadlines, as well as incentives. But healthcare IT systems were not built to connect a data ecosystem. A VNA is the only practical solution to these growing challenges.

What is a vendor neutral archive (VNA)?

Definitions of VNA vary, but InMedica2, now part of IHS, defines VNA as a “platform that provides long-term, disaster recovery, lifecycle management and the ability to easily share medical data by communicating with different PACS. It serves as a central repository for medical images and other patient data based on an open architecture for multiple departments, of multiple hospitals.”

Currently, clinical content is held hostage in departmental systems, such as the PACS, which uses proprietary formats and is burdened with storage and migration challenges. With its open architecture and use of industry standards such as HL7, IHE, DICOM and XDS, the VNA can preserve multiple native file formats. You can store all content, no matter the source, on a single, standards-based platform enabling a single access, lifecycle management and storage strategy that eliminates headaches, saves time and money for IT, and reduces risk for your organization.

Because clinical consolidation and migration is an ongoing process, the neutrality inherent in an independent VNA is imperative. An independent VNA is able to ingest any DICOM and non-DICOM content and integrate with any existing PACS, RIS, enterprise content management (ECM) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

This vendor independence is at the heart of the Perceptive Acuo VNA, which provides you the freedom to choose application and storage platforms without being held to proprietary formats and systems ensuring future flexibility across your IT landscape. This includes integration with any ECM software provider, including the Perceptive Content suite.

The VNA market leader

Through our acquisition of Acuo Technologies, Perceptive Software is now home to the world’s market-leading independent VNA. With implementation experience that spans all major PACS, ECM and EMR vendors, thousands of global healthcare organizations rely on Perceptive Software to optimize their EMR by capturing and managing all content from any source and making it available and actionable from a single view.