Enterprise Imaging and the Centralization of Data

The ability to record diagnostic images digitally and upload them to a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) has largely been a radiology-oriented system since the technology was formally introduced in the early 1980s. Enterprise imaging is the next evolutionary step in image storage and management. It will take the responsibility for imaging management away from radiology and place it in the hands of the enterprise-wide information technology function. The path to enterprise archiving of images is being paved by vendor-neutral archives (VNAs) that enable easier integration of data from disparate systems throughout the hospital — such as radiology, cardiology, pathology, orthopedics, and obstetrics — and make these data available in one place via the electronic health record. This evolution will have the capability to store and exchange clinical content in DICOM (digital imaging and communications in medicine) and non-DICOM formats. As a result, all clinical data will be available, easily accessible, and useable and not contained in departmental silos but on a monitor from an adjacent control room.

This article is an update of a previous post.