A Truly Vendor Neutral Archive

The Ncompass Vendor Neutral Archive: The Building Block of Enterprise Imaging


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Ncompass VNA, a vendor neutral, object-based, and indexed storage solution, is architected to house both DICOM and non-DICOM (photos, videos, other clinical multimedia). This archive is both a reliable short and long-term archive with lifecycle management and cost-efficient, off-site storage options which reduce hardware and accompanying costs. Storage is organized both on and off-site according to organizational needs and preferences in order to optimize access, workflow and create a complete disaster recovery solution. The VNA allows large images to pre-loaded according to a physician’s schedule, facilitating a quicker workflow as well as enhanced collaboration through the Universal Viewer. Additionally, Novarad Image Exchange allows physicians to easily identify that an image is available and simultaneously open the study, eliminating the need for repeat exams.

Vendor Neutral, Really.

While some self-labeled Vendor Neutral Archive solutions claim vendor neutrality, many of them still use a proprietary archive, which makes them vendor-neutral in name only. The Ncompass VNA is a standards-based, XDS-compliant solution that permanently eliminates the need for expensive data migrations that disrupt clinical workflow.

The Ncompass solution utilizes a state of the art universal viewer with patient-centric access clinical information through a zero-footprint web browser.

FAQs About Enterprise Imaging

How does implementing an Enterprise Imaging Solution benefit your facility?

Many hospitals have images in departments across the healthcare enterprise that are not part of the patient record unless manual processes happen to bring these records into the EMR. It is not uncommon for many healthcare institutions and hospitals to access more than one archive to access and view relevant images for a typical patient. Novarad’s Enterprise Imaging Solution includes the Ncompass Universal Viewer embedded into your EMR giving you the ability to look at all clinical information, both DICOM and non-DICOM formats. This ensures clinicians and healthcare providers have access to a complete patient record that saves money by eliminating manual processes, increases security by ensuring HIPAA compliance and that is easy to use.

What are the storage and archiving options available with the Ncompass Vendor Neutral Archive?

There are three major types, each designed for different needs, layers of security and workflow. When you work with our expert imaging consultants, we can help you determine the best method for storage and security both for the time being and to best help your facility scale and grow.

  1. The primary solution is an on-site vendor neutral archive which is also backed up to an online, secure, and always available Novarad clinical-cloud archive. This solution provides you with built-in disaster recovery and seamless replication of clinical multimedia all through a completely vendor neutral solution for easy data access provided by Novarad.
  2. For an added layer of security, you can pair the Ncompass VNA on-site archive with replication to the Dell Healthcare Cloud Clinical Archive. Dell’s healthcare archive provides you with maximum data security, with a backup two separate data centers across the United States. This still affords you instant access to your data in the cloud, but in utilizing Dell Healthcare Archive, you are reassured of the safety of your data in the event of a catastrophe.
  3. Last is the Ncompass on-site vendor neutral archive with replication to the Dell Healthcare Cloud Clinical Archive but is only accessed as a Disaster Recovery Archive. This provides you with the peace of mind of Dell’s security features at an affordable rate.

Why does Vendor Neutral Archive need to be Vendor Neutral?

Among the healthcare industry, there is some debate about what exactly is of fundamental importance in a Vendor Neutral Archive. The necessity of several features depends strongly upon the type of environment where the VNA is going to be deployed, such as whether it is inside a single enterprise or across several different enterprises. There are, however, a few features that the industry agrees must be standard across all VNAs, no matter where they are used:

Because there are several different PACS systems made by different manufacturers, each with its own proprietary file format system, there is a concern that once a clinic commits to a specific PACS, they are essentially forced to continue buying future solutions from the same manufacturer. If they wanted to switch PACS providers, they would need to pay to have their stored information converted into a format that the new system could read.

In essence, their data is “held for ransom.” This is where the “vendor neutral” part comes in. A VNA takes each of these files from their different formats and converts them to the DICOM standard, essentially translating them all into the same language so that they can be transferred and accessed across several systems.

DICOM & Non-DICOM Compatible

The system also needs a viewer that works with DICOM and non-DICOM data. This allows healthcare professionals to store, query, and access the different images and documents without having to manually go in and convert them all. Essentially, this is done behind the scenes while the user works with a simple, intuitive interface.

Healthcare workers can pull up x-rays, MRIs, and other medical images and view them all at once, to get a complete picture of a patient’s health and make an accurate diagnosis. Novarad has addressed this need through the Ncompass Universal Viewer, which stores information in a patient-centric viewer that aggregates both DICOM and clinical multimedia into one imaging record.

Allows for administrative updates

In addition to this, an effective system must allow for clinicians to make administrative updates and corrections. For example, it is possible that a patient could have several types of imaging done that did not, for whatever reason, end up as a part of the same record. In this situation, an employee could go into the system, find the two records, and merge them into a single patient’s record.


Ncompass Vendor Neutral Archive The next crucial bit of criteria is scalability. Generally, when archiving systems like VNAs are in place, the workload will often be low at the beginning, before the facility has adapted to using it. Over time, though, as it becomes more integrated into the facility’s workflow, the workload will inevitably increase. This is particularly true in an environment like a hospital, where new departments are often adding new medical imaging technologies.

Just like the original systems that the Vendor Neutral Archive was put in place to connect, these new systems also need to be connected in such a way that doctors and medical workers can access the information easily and efficiently. A robust system is able to integrate these new systems relatively easily, making the medical images readily available to doctors and nurses across several departments while still maintaining the patient’s privacy and security.

Convenient Upgrades

In addition to this ability to integrate multiple departments, a good system will ideally be able to be upgraded without requiring a complete overhaul each time something changes in the system’s makeup. Even as the viewing, acquisition, and workflow management components of the VNA are upgraded, because of the standardized data formats, the systems are effectively interchangeable without having to change the data formats and interfaces every time.

Lifecycle Management

As past trends have shown us, the amount of data generated in healthcare grows at an exponential rate. This sharp increase in data can cost healthcare organizations both money and resources over an extended period of time. In addition to this, some data must be stored for seven years and other data has a three-year lifecycle.

A key feature of Novarad’s solution is lifecycle management. With this feature, users can set up a customizable set of rules where, when it is no longer required to store certain types of data or the data does not need to be readily available, the system can delete data or move it to a cheaper off-site archive. Using lifecycle management frees up storage space for more images and save medical facilities money as they use less storage space.

Novarad’s Image Exchange Network

To better help hospital groups and organizations security share and exchange patient information, Novarad has architected a network to facilitate complete image and information exchange while protecting each hospital’s patient database. Through a central server, hospitals can run a query for the images of a patient from all participating hospitals. Only patient information with an exact match is returned. This allows neighboring hospitals to effectively and freely share patient images which can prevent repeat exams or allow for more in-depth comparison studies. Novarad’s Image Exchange improves the speed, efficiency, and cost of sharing and transferring necessary imaging information. All this while still protecting patient information and the competition between hospitals or hospital groups.

Request a demo

Looking for more information on a particular product or would you like to discuss how Novarad can improve your current imaging solution? We look forward to speaking with you. Please fill out the form or call 877-668-2723 to speak with an Enterprise Imaging Strategist.

For emergency support requests, please call 801.221.5895.

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