BOX 1. Why We Embraced the Cloud
By Rick Perez, administrative director of the department of radiology at
Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY
Our hospital opted for cloud based PACS and archiving when we
needed to replace aging on site systems. We had several reservations
about installing a new on site PACS infrastructure to serve our large
teaching hospital with an annual exam volume of 180,000.
The management team was concerned about our ability (and the
costs of) upgrading software and hardware to meet rapidly changing
standards. We also wanted advanced functionality including critical test
results, peer review for teaching files, and total integration of the soft-
ware. Ultimately, our team decided the best choice was to retain a ser-
vices provider that would be responsible for keeping our PACS and
archiving system current with the latest technology for the length of the
Hospital managers selected our vendor because its product delivers
fully featured image review, storage, and distribution throughout the
enterprise, including delivering advanced reading tools to on site or
remote radiologists. The solution also includes cloud based archiving of
patient data and imaging studies.
We expect to reduce operational expenses by paying a per study
usage charge instead of investing in building, maintaining, and upgrad-
ing its own internal IT infrastructure. A cloud service also delivers
protection against technology obsolescence and scalability that can
accommodate rapid growth as our hospital adds new modalities and
software. Data is encrypted and also
secured against the physical removal of
devices, and databases are also encrypted
to ensure data privacy.
of the data center. Metrics are collected
from each device and an alert is triggered
when a faulty condition or potential
breech is detected.
Cloud-based imaging services present a
compelling option as healthcare facilities replace outdated PACS and archiving
systems. These services can streamline
operational efficiencies and reduce costs.
Healthcare providers need to look for a
service that can deliver full PACS functionality for image review, storage, and
distribution throughout the enterprise—
including delivering advanced reading
tools to remote radiologists. Archive
services should offer virtualized, vendor
neutral storage as well as data protection
and disaster recovery of clinical data in
a variety of formats. A secure portal can
enable healthcare providers that use the
company’s archive service to allow access
to that data by authorized clinicians—
or patients—anywhere in the world
through a simple Internet connection.
Cloud-based computing in the imaging
market has evolved from a service that
provided cost effective disaster recovery
for archived data to a sophisticated technology that can deliver fully featured PACS
and vendor neutral archiving solutions to
healthcare providers of all sizes. Its widespread appeal lies in its ability to deliver
highly scalable, pay-for-use solutions that
include technology upgrades and expert
security measures—all available for substantially less than the cost of purchasing
and maintaining an on site infrastructure
and management personnel.
Authentication and access control restrict
use. Site level access control is confined
to specific service access points. Access
rights are limited to authorized users (with
passwords and other requirements) and
user access can be confined to specific
patients and types of studies.
An audit trail monitors all activity on
each user’s server and each component
Each cloud provider should have a security policy that governs all security procedures and a team that is led by a qualified security officer. The security team
monitors all data access and ensures
the physical security of the data centers.
Badge controls are used to restrict access
to specific areas of the data center. Security guards provide around the clock
protection and a strict policy is enforced
for document and laptop management.
1KLAS. “PACS 2011: A Victim of Its Own
Success.” November 23, 2011. Available at:
Accessed February 3, 2012.
Patrick Koch manages worldwide strategic
development and operations for Carestream’s family
of Vue Cloud PACS, archiving, and image sharing
services. He previously managed development and
marketing for medical imaging and healthcare IT
products in the European, African, and Middle East
region. Patrick holds a masters degree in business
management from the Solvay Business School of
Universite Libre de Bruxelles. He is based in Belgium.