What is a VNA and Why Do I Need One?

AUTHOR: John Hansen, Director of Product Management – Synapse VNA, FUJIFILM Healthcare Americas Corporation

Healthcare providers have always relied on clinical imaging when making diagnoses, compiling treatment plans, and analyzing treatment efficacy. While the majority of images have traditionally been handled by the radiology department, healthcare enterprises now obtain images from a variety of service lines. If a patient has a suspicious mole or a serious wound, for example, chances are a dermatologist or wound care specialist will take a picture to document a baseline and assist with their proposed care strategy. To keep pace with this proliferation of clinical imaging, healthcare organizations are starting to implement an enterprise imaging strategy to help manage all of the imaging content coming in from across the care continuum. That’s where a vendor-neutral archive comes in.

What Is a Vendor-Neutral Archive (VNA)?

A vendor-neutral archive, or VNA, was designed for imaging interoperability. Many solutions on the market, including Fujifilm’s Best in KLAS Synapse® VNA, provide secure, easy-to-manage storage, and allow access to the complete patient imaging record. They also integrate with electronic health records (EHRs) and health information technology (HIT) systems to provide the complete picture health picture.

A few other important features of VNAs include:

  • Secures and enables control of all image data on the organization’s preferred enterprise-class storage media or in the cloud.
  • Creates a single, patient-centric view across the entire continuum of care.
  • Manages all DICOM and specialty department (non-DICOM) clinical imaging content from across the enterprise.
  • Captures imaging content using VNA-inherent workflows for encounters-based service lines.
  • Facilitates image sharing and collaboration amongst a community of care providers.
  • Presents patient data through advanced analytics and configurable dashboards.

Why Do I Need a VNA?

Healthcare enterprises first realized the need for a VNA with the proliferation of picture archiving communication systems – or PACS. Radiology departments have used picture archiving PACS for more than 40 years, which primarily manage and archive DICOM images. However, as more vendors entered the market with their own variations of PACS technology and DICOM conformance, the ability to easily exchange and view images between PACS systems became challenging, causing demand for the VNA to grow. Add in the influx of specialty departments now curating images in a variety of non-DICOM formats – A/V, MPEG, WAV, JPG, PDF, to name a few – and you can see why the need for one, all-inclusive image archive solution becomes so critical.

So How Does it Work?

A VNA captures, stores, archives, manages and distributes DICOM and non-DICOM images in one common archive, regardless of the imaging device, file format, or department. Some specific benefits of having a VNA as the core to your enterprise imaging strategy include:

  • Reduced storage and operational costs: Simplifying data storage with a VNA reduces storage costs and eliminates the need for costly future data migrations.
  • Secure patient data: A HIPAA-compliant VNA that provides data in accordance with your organization’s access control policies helps keep patient information secure, with centralized data security across the healthcare enterprise.
  • Streamlined physician workflows: A VNA with EHR interoperability allows providers to access images and patient records through a single interface, streamlining workflows and improving clinician satisfaction while allowing them to spend more time on patient care.
  • Improved patient care: Access to complete imaging data allows providers to see the whole patient, so they can treat the whole patient.

Synapse VNA – The industry’s leading image-enablement solution

Synapse Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA), from the TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm, makes true imaging interoperability possible.  Storing more than 40 billion imaging objects from more than 1,500 facilities across six continents, Synapse VNA provides the industry’s leading image-enablement solution. For more information on how you can make Synapse VNA the core to your enterprise imaging strategy, reach out to us today.

This blog post was syndicated from the TeraMedica Division of Fujifilm’s Synapse Connexts Blog.