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Press Release

Standard Vendor Neutral Archives Do Not Ensure Image Availability

New Whitepaper from BridgeHead Software Outlines Strategies for UK Trusts to Address Concerns Regarding Image Availability

Ashtead, UK – November 27, 2012 – BridgeHead Software has released its latest whitepaper, titled VNA Does Not Equal Image Availability: What You Need to Know. The whitepaper reveals that some Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) providers do not offer the necessary archival layers for protection, meaning that images are at significant risk of loss. Also, lost and destroyed images may go undetected until clinicians attempt to read those images when needed to support patient treatment.

Though the definition of VNA technology would suggest it provides image protection and availability, standard VNA approaches are focused only on DICOM and lack essential capabilities. Critical gaps in standard VNA approaches include lack of file-level protection, abstraction, and storage-level handling. Without these capabilities, images stored in VNA repositories remain at risk of loss from disk failures, silent data corruption, and erroneous file deletes. These risks occur frequently, yet are often overlooked in hospital environments.

BridgeHead’s whitepaper, entitled “VNA Does not Equal Image Availability: What You Need to Know,” highlights the four crucial concerns regarding image availability: the different layers of an archive required to ensure a solid foundation of data protection; why the standard definition of VNA is incomplete and what is missing; how silent data corruption remains a problem; and last, how to adopt a strategy for VNA implementation to support image protection and availability.

As an added benefit, the approach to VNA described by BridgeHead enables all types of hospital data to be stored, protected, and shared. Standard VNA repositories handle only DICOM images and leave other types of images and data unmanaged.

Many administrators remain unaware that a standard VNA is insufficient for ensuring image availability as DICOM-level archive technologies are not designed to preserve multiple file copies, on multiple types of storage, with embedded signature validation. As a result, patient care is put at risk by these organisations because their images are not adequately protected,” said Joe Marion, principal of Healthcare Integration Strategies, a company specialising in the integration of imaging technologies with the overall healthcare IT landscape.

Joe Marion continues: “What is needed to ensure image availability is an approach to VNA that is based upon a solid foundation of data protection. I applaud BridgeHead’s efforts to educate healthcare organisations on the risks present, and how to overcome the problem by taking an approach to VNA which is built on a solid data management foundation.” 

BridgeHead offers the only protection solution specifically designed for healthcare data management, ensuring image availability and reducing the potential for harmful misdiagnosis. The file-level protection that BridgeHead provides is a vital building block in BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management (HDM), a solution designed to ‘Bridge the Gap’ between what clinicians want for assured image availability and IT professionals need for data management solutions that work with all applications across the whole hospital, along with capabilities designed to tame the continuing growth and complexity of data. It is also the only software that combines protection together with DICOM and non-DICOM archiving, ensuring image availability for healthcare professionals.

Jim Beagle, CEO of BridgeHead Software comments: “Ensuring image availability to clinicians is a crucial aspect of providing good levels of patient care and given the ending of the local service provider contracts for PACs is something that every UK trust is thinking about.

Jim Beagle continues: “Hospitals are at risk of losing sensitive patient information due to the shortcomings of standard VNAs. We believe this does not have to be the case, and urge clinicians to take a closer look at their approach to healthcare data management to identify any weaknesses in their storage or protection capabilities before finding themselves in a situation where images are missing and patient care is compromised.”


About BridgeHead Software
With 20 years’ experience in data and storage management, and 10 years in healthcare, BridgeHead Software is trusted by over 1,000 hospitals worldwide. Today, BridgeHead Software helps healthcare facilities overcome challenges stemming from rising data volumes and increasing storage costs while delivering peace of mind around how to STORE, PROTECT and SHARE clinical and administrative information.

BridgeHead’s Healthcare Data Management (HDM) solutions are designed to work with any hospital’s chosen applications and storage hardware, regardless of vendor, providing greater choice, flexibility and control over the way data is managed, now and in the future. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter at @BridgeHeadHDM.

For additional information, contact:
Anna Hennessy
Tel: 07974 161 137