Feature | April 07, 2015

Bradford Teaching Hospitals Completes One of U.K.’s Largest Image Migration Projects

Organization collaborates with data management specialists to break from national PACS program and implement own system

BridgeHead Software, Bradford Teaching Hospitals, image migration, VNA, PACS

Image courtesy of BridgeHead Software

April 7, 2015 — Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Bradford) has completed one of the UK’s largest image migration projects thanks to a four-way partnership alongside healthcare data management specialists BridgeHead Software, Dell and Agfa. A total of 1.7 million radiology studies, equating to 126 million DICOM images and 27 terabytes of data, have been transferred from the central data store (as provided under the National PACS contracts) at a rate of up to 1.4 million images per day into BridgeHead’s vendor neutral archive (VNA), HealthStore.

HealthStore enables the Trust to take complete ownership of, in this case, its radiology image data, stored and protected, all without being tied to an application or hardware technology. HealthStore supports the Trust’s aspirations for a hospital-wide enterprise archive for all medical and non-medical images and other clinical and non-clinical data – where this information can be accessed by clinicians at the point of care. All images and other associated data types are effectively safeguarded as they are ingested providing full protection and availability. And, by having all data managed from a single location, it can be easier to share with clinicians, and other authorised personnel, when they need it.

In late 2013, Bradford commenced a project to determine how it would best exit from the National Picture Archiving and Communication System [PACS] Programme, for which the contract was ending in June 2014. As one of the first steps in the project, the Trust made a strategic investment in its data storage infrastructure, selecting Dell Compellent as the enterprise-wide environment.

In February 2014, the Trust invested in BridgeHead’s VNA to create a truly technology-agnostic and standards-based radiology image store. The VNA is spread across two data centers and all data is mirrored; the Trust has two live copies and a backup, so they essentially have three working copies of the data at any one time. In essence, this avoids replicating data errors; independent copies are taken from the data source, so if one copy is corrupted on write, the others will not be affected.

Ian White, project manager for Bradford, and with previous National PACS Programme exit experience, commented: “Some of the biggest risks for any migration project is ensuring all studies held in the central data store are repatriated within a managed timeframe; and that those images are migrated and transformed into a standard, non-proprietary industry format, thereby ensuring no vendor lock-in at an application level and reducing the risk, management overhead and cost of potential future application changes.”

The Trust worked collaboratively with the incumbent PACS provider to propose, design and develop a solution based on the Image Object Change Management specification (IOCM). IOCM ensures data residing in the PACS database is in sync with the data in the VNA. Should any changes be made to the data in the PACS, these will filter down into the archived data held in the VNA.

Data migration from the central data store commenced at the end of August 2014 and was completed by mid-December 2014. Over this time, the VNA was also ingesting new data directly from the PACS application – with minimal impact on users.

Bradford is also looking at the VNA from a multi-disciplinary standpoint and as the Trust’s single, enterprise-wide archive for all clinical imaging and non-image data. This would result in the VNA environment being open to receiving data from other disciplines outside of radiology, such as cardiology for example.

BridgeHead’s HealthStore VNA is a subset of its wider Healthcare Data Management (HDM) Solution, which has the capability of storing, protecting and sharing all healthcare data, both clinical and administrative. Bradford will be able to easily extend the HealthStore VNA environment to BridgeHead’s full HDM Solution and thereby having the ability to archive and manage a greater variety and volume of hospital data.

For more information: www.bridgeheadsoftware.com

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