Nij Smellinghe Hospital in Drachten, The Netherlands, has chosen Carestream Health to provide it with a hosted information management system to enable it to remotely archive patient diagnostic imaging data.

The HIM service will be provided to securely store an estimated nine terabytes of DICOM and non-DiICOM data in a central data centre that will allow users to archive, share and distribute patient data.

Carestream Health will provid the HIM service to Nij Smellinghe Hospital as part of a five year deal for an undiscolsed sum.

The hospital became filmless in 1999 following the installation of a Kodak (now Carestream) Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), becoming the first hospital within The Netherlands with enterprise-wide PACS. The use of PACS for over eight years has resulted in a growing volume of imaging studies and patient information requiring management.

Wim Loman, IT Manager at Nij Smellinghe Hospital, said use of PACS led to an “explosive” of volumes of data requiring management, storage and access.

“The growth of patient data is explosive?radiology images, video, sound, pictures, patient monitoring and data management systems?all with a storage requirement of a minimum of 15 years.”

He added that as volumes of data grew like wildfire they outstripped the hospitals storage capacity. “In the long term it is more efficient and cost effective for an expert partner like Carestream Health to meet our needs for reliable archiving and retrieval.”

Carestream will install a Data Access Point (DAP) at Nij Smellinghe Hospital to provide the interface to the HIM service. The DAP has storage capacity from a few days to several years of data production and can be customised to meet specific requirements and workflow.

Carestream says the DAP can exchange information from different local systems?modalities, viewing stations, PACS from different vendors, information systems such as RIS and the web portal using standard protocols such as DICOM or HL7?and archive in a single store. Multiple copies are stored of all data transmitted by the DAP for protection and disaster recovery.

“We have a mature PACS market here in the Netherlands and many hospitals see the benefits of managing the growing volume of patient data by remote storage,” said Frank van Ravels, regional business development manager, North Europe, Carestream Health Netherlands.

He added that for many healthcare organisations buying an annual service was more attractive than managing a complex infrastructure.