Advanced Teleradiology Infrastructure: 3 exciting updates at ONRAD

As most ONRAD customers know, the IT team is currently working to update the RIS to TRIS 8.  Beyond the TRIS 8 release, the ONRAD IT department is also hard at work at three other major initiatives that are sure to make our network one of the most robust and advanced in the industry. This is a major overhaul of network equipment and technology, but we are excited about the end result. Here is a brief summary of these three initiatives:

1)      Vendor Neutral Archive implementation: ONRAD has selected a Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) product from DICOM Systems that gives us a robust platform to manage our image archives. Modern PACS-based archive technology has proven inefficient and inflexible. By the end of Q2, ONRAD plans on migrating the bulk of our image archive to the VNA and will no longer rely on the PACS as our image repository. This will give us flexibility to use advanced viewers that will help power our PET/CT and Mammography reading programs, as well as the flexibility to increase our fault tolerance and disaster recovery capabilities. The VNA operates on top of our advanced VMWare environment for added fault tolerance.

2)      Disaster Recovery Site implementation: In an effort to ensure business continuity and access to our users and customers, the ONRAD IT team has been hard at work implementing a disaster recovery datacenter in Vernon Hills, IL. This datacenter will run a duplicate hardware environment to the environment in Riverside, CA and will allow business continuity in the event of any disaster or other issue that might affect system connectivity and availability to our production systems. The environment is currently online and in test. Over the next several months, the ONRAD IT team will be working with customers to bring redundant VPN or TLS connections online to the Vernon Hills datacenter in order to fully enable our disaster recovery capability.

3)      Going PACS-less: In a more long-term effort, ONRAD has been working to completely streamline our radiology workflow to be as efficient as possible. To this end, we have seen some real limitations in being tied to a single vendor PACS system. PACS systems are, in essence, radiology image viewers that run on top of image archives; however, they typically are neither the best viewer nor best archive, and they tend to be inflexible with respect to modes of image transmission, storage, and backup. In order to resolve this issue, ONRAD is working on an advanced integration between three systems: the ONRAD RIS (TRIS 8), the ONRAD VNA (from DICOM Systems), and a new advanced viewer. The integrated system will rely on a single advanced worklist powered by Thinairdata, and will allow for an ultra—efficient workflow. We are excited about the future and expect to have a system online and available for demonstration by RSNA 2012.  See you in Chicago!

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