Healthcare VNA, or vendor neutral archive is getting a lot of attention lately - for many of the right reasons however too much of the dialog is concentrated around liberating the data from proprietary PACS. Instead, the discussion should be expanded to incorporate data and leverage analytics in a way that improves efficiency and care while reducing the cost of care and empowering the patient.
To be sure, liberating information from repositories that walled off and reducing the cost of storage aren't the only benefits of VNA, yet it feels like the value proposition has been condensed down to a few sound bites focusing on saving storage costs and reducing migration headaches.
I posit that a VNA initiative should be part of accountable care objectives and put into the context of coordinating care across various care settings, empowering the patient and reducing the total cost of care. This requires integration with electronic medical records and linkage to the master patient index along with eliminating duplicate scans, improving reporting and so forth. The trouble is that it's hard work, technical in nature and requires a deep understanding of the workflows in healthcare. Moreover, these are chapters from the book of enterprise architecture (euphemistically speaking).
The data driven benefits that will accrue from continuity of care document, health information exchanges and open data will depend on innovative uses of analytics which in turn will improve treatment, patient engagement and involvement in improving health. If the patient understands clinical results in readily consumable format, in context, it is much easier for him or her to act constructively.
The above is an opinion born out of years of experience in analytics and enterprise architecture and as a healthcare focused integration firm involved with VNA. If you want to learn more about our assessment offering click here.