Health organizations are increasingly migrating from on-premise PACS to cloud-based patient data management. A cloud-based PACS solution is a Picture Archiving and Communication System running on remote cloud computing services. This approach allows customers to consolidate multiple imaging systems into a single, flexible, customizable, and low-maintenance platform, especially for rapidly growing health systems or imaging practices.
Given the complexity of moving from on-premise infrastructure to a cloud-based solution, organizations often turn to third-party healthcare IT companies such as Intelerad for deployment, support, upgrades, system maintenance, and updates. The newly introduced Intelerad Cloud suite is an ideal solution for organizations planning to adopt cloud management models but that are looking to transition to the Cloud at their own pace.
A Look at the Intelerad Cloud
The Intelerad Cloud suite is a performant, scalable, and highly dynamic cloud-based image management solution. It offers the benefits of Cloud technology without losing the speed and reliability of on-premise solutions. Intelerad Cloud provides infinitely scalable storage capabilities that allow customers to pay for only what they need, when they need it, making their cloud transition a smooth one. Some key product features included in the suite:
- Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR): to ensure data redundancy and reliable business continuity
- Cloud Long-Term Archive (Cloud LTA): for infinitely scalable patient data storage
- Image Exchange: for seamless, automated patient data exchange between disparate providers
- Private Cloud: that leverages the same great IntelePACS technology built with Cloud infrastructure to improve data management and storage
- Patient Portal Access: for improved care and patient autonomy
- Enterprise VNA: that facilitates streamlined workflows integrated across business applications
Each of these features is managed through a comprehensive security infrastructure that’s designed to help protect patient data during and after migration to the Cloud.
The Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud
There are several benefits to choosing a cloud-based image management solution, including cost savings, accessibility, speed, security, scalability, and flexibility:
Reduced cost: Medical administrators can reduce costs several ways when shifting from a traditional onsite PACS to a cloud-based solution. For example, IT teams are no longer faced with managing the data center, software implementation and updates, hardware maintenance and technical support, data backup, and recovery. These core responsibilities are provided by the cloud vendor, allowing the IT staff to focus on internal customer needs and the longer-term IT strategy. Another key benefit of Cloud technology is rule-based, automated study deletions that allow providers to minimize storage costs by deleting older patient studies that no longer need to be preserved in their archive. Cloud-based solutions also offer flexible pricing models, rather than one-size-fits-all pricing.
Remote Accessibility: When using a traditional PACS, data can often become siloed, limiting access to key patient data. When combining siloed data with the added complexity of security and privacy protocols, accessing vital patient data outside of the local medical facility can be challenging. Cloud-based PACS solutions are designed from the ground up for remote access, simplifying access to patient data and improving the quality of patient care.
Speed: Implementing cloud services can speed up patient care. For example, a radiologist does not have to be physically located in the medical facility to access a workstation to diagnose images. They can access medical images from anywhere they have an internet connection, including on their mobile devices. Ease of access also helps alleviate radiologists’ workload, leaving more time for quality patient care.
Security: In a recent data breach, millions of Americans’ medical imaging records and data were leaked on the internet, caused by servers that were unprotected by passwords or basic security precautions. By contrast, Cloud PACS solutions such as Intelerad Cloud adhere to strict security and privacy protocols, including, among others, password-protected connections, encrypted sessions, and automatic logout of the session once the medical image viewer browser disconnects. Cloud-based solutions also provide network and role-based access controls, antivirus and malware protections, cyber threat detection, mandated strong passwords, and more.
Scalability: Cloud-based solutions are designed to enable flexibility and scalability. Whether the number of users needing access to patient images increases or an organization’s storage requirements grow or change, cloud solutions such as Intelerad Cloud easily scale with the needs of the organization. In addition, pricing plans can be adjusted accordingly.
Flexibility: The convenience of Intelerad’s cloud-based services model allows providers to adopt Cloud into their workflow, piece-by-piece, without overhauling onsite architecture. On-premise PACS solutions are considered large-scale investments for healthcare organizations, with the total cost of ownership amplified depending on storage infrastructure and IT management costs. And while this may dissuade administrators from newly purchasing onsite PACS, for those that already leverage local PACS solutions, forgoing their investment in favor of cloud hosting can be too costly. Though some Cloud vendors necessitate a full-scale transition to Cloud services, Intelerad’s model allows customers to continue leveraging their onsite hardware until it reaches end-of-life. Customers can operate their onsite infrastructure while also employing integrated Cloud services, such as Cloud DR or off-site Cloud LTA storage. This helps maximize ROI without forsaking the immediate benefits that can be achieved through augmented Cloud workflows.
There are many benefits to a cloud-based PACS solution. To discuss them in person, Intelerad will be on hand at RSNA at McCormick Place in Chicago from November 27-30 in booth # 6107. The company will have more than 50 Intelerad team members onsite to showcase how the new Intelerad Cloud can help customers shape their enterprise imaging strategy and migrate to the Cloud. To schedule a meeting, click here. We hope you will join us!