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Author Topic: Vendor Neutral Archive  (Read 6507 times)
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« on: May 05, 2011, 12:19:58 PM »

One of the challenges for long term DICOM storage is the ability to migrate data from one vendor platform to another.  In an effort to ease this process, some companies are attempting to create a "Vendor Neutral Archive".  Usually this calls for all objects to be DICOM objects for storage.

For example, many vendors take data such as overlays, pointers, and graphics, and store them in their database.  This can be thought of as "proprietary" data and often cannot be exported.  The PACS we currently use at our Health System stores overlays in just this way and they are unable to export this data, even to their own CD Film export!

If this data is stored as DICOM, then it could (in theory) be exported to any other vendor's PACS system.

This would make many things easier to perform, such as changing PACS systems, sharing data between facilities, and CD Film for patients or physicians.

There are many articles about Vendor Neutral Archival available, but one that looks at both the pros and cons for such a system, as well as considerations for the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) can be found here:

Vendor Neutral Archiving faces many challenges, not the least of which is that there is no true DICOM standard.  Yes, you can find the accepted DICOM standard at and other sites, but there are many fields are left for proprietary use or definition (read that as "tags") and no two vendors DICOM Conformance Statements are the same.

Have you had any experience with a Vendor Neutral Archive?  Please share your experiences.

Senior PACS Administrator - Mercy Health System
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