KLAS: More providers forming enterprise imaging strategies

A new report from KLAS finds most healthcare providers have begun putting into place an enterprise strategy for imaging, with the goal of getting "the right image to the right place at the right time."

The study, "Enterprise Imaging 2012: Provider's Strategies and Insights," reveals that vendor-neutral archives (VNA) and PACS enterprise archive solutions are emerging as the top two preferred approaches for most providers.

GE and Philips were the vendors mentioned most often overall in the study as strategic enterprise imaging partners, according to KLAS, and every GE and Philips customer interviewed considered their vendor to be part of their go-forward imaging strategy – especially those going for a PACS enterprise archive centric strategy. Fuji, while not cited as often as the other two, also seems to have a strong PACS enterprise archive offering.

[See also: PACS adoption has reached 'mature stage,' study says.]

Agfa and Merge were the most-often cited vendors for a VNA-centric strategy, according to KLAS, which reports that Agfa customers using the IMPAX Data Center (IDC) remain committed, despite early indications that a lukewarm PACS experience will affect the IDC experience. Merge has many of the needed pieces, the study adds, but providers are still waiting for integration; Merge customers are looking forward to what they will be able to do with Merge's iConnect platform.

Acuo and TeraMedica are the primary non-PACS players in the VNA space. In most cases, early trends suggest that TeraMedica customers are pleased with the value of the system and hint toward favorable enterprise DICOM management, according to the report, which found that several providers were also leveraging TeraMedica's ability to store other clinical content in its native format.

Acuo clients say their vendor's core strength is in image distribution and data migration. Their increasing number of vendor partnerships and growing mindshare in the VNA space suggest that Acuo is a viable archive option for those who do not want to rely solely on a PACS archive.

[See also: At RSNA, 'a new age' of informatics.]

Of the providers interviewed by KLAS, 27 percent indicate that a VNA would be central to their enterprise imaging.

"Image storage is a necessity, no matter what option is chosen," said Ben Brown, imaging research director at KLAS and author of the report. "As providers start to bring in more studies and the studies themselves increase in size, the need for storage will increase. In addition, as a provider explained, images will need to be managed as well as stored."

Carestream, Cerner, Dell, DR Systems, EMC, McKesson, ScImage, Sectra and Siemens are also mentioned in the report.