At HIMSS today Iron Mountain announced that Texas Regional Medical Center has chosen the Company’s vendor neutral archive solution to manage its archive of CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and other diagnostic images. The Company also announced the addition of new retention management functionality to its VNA to help hospitals identify and properly archive or destroy obsolete medical data.
New retention management capability for vendor neutral archive and cloud-based storage relieves pressures of shrinking storage capacity and regulatory compliance
BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), the information management company, today announced that the Texas Regional Medical Center (TRMC) has chosen Iron Mountain’s vendor neutral archive (VNA) and cloud storage solution to manage its CT scans, MRIs, X-rays and other diagnostic image volume. The Dallas-based for-profit hospital will implement Iron Mountain’s VNA to lower overall medical data storage costs, provide caregivers better access to images, and improve disaster recovery by moving data securely offsite. Iron Mountain also announced the addition of new retention management functionality to its VNA to help hospitals identify and properly archive or destroy obsolete medical data.
Texas Regional Medical Center: Lowering storage costs, focusing on patient care
Like other hospitals, the Texas Regional Medical Center views and stores medical images through Picture Archiving Communication Systems (PACS). These systems generate massive amounts of data, driven by higher-resolution images and the popularity of imaging as a diagnostic tool. Often, the data is stored across multiple departments, each with its own PACS for storing a specific type of image. This network of PACS creates silos that trap information and inhibit physicians from viewing a patient’s full medical history, forcing hospital technology leaders to manage expensive and complex processes for storing and sharing medical image data. And, because hospitals update or replace their PACS every few years, they are forced to migrate images from one PACS to the next.
The Texas Regional Medical Center implemented Iron Mountain’s VNA and cloud-based archiving solution to help them address their medical imaging data growth, while also helping them better protect their data in the event of disaster by moving the information offsite. This will enable TRMC to reduce the cost and complexity of managing that data while meeting HIPAA compliance requirements for disaster recovery and business continuity. Additionally, they plan to use the VNA to help them prepare for the eventual challenges of system interoperability and data retention, both of which will become more acute challenges as TRMC grows and expands its footprint of clinical operations.
“As a for-profit hospital, our technology investments must provide efficiency and cost-savings, solving our current and future needs while also helping to ensure a higher quality of patient care,” said Rob McDonald, CIO of Texas Regional Medical Center. “When we started looking for a technology solution for our medical imaging data, we had a specific agenda: Choose a partner capable of growing with us and handling our storage, access, compliance and data retention needs. Iron Mountain fits perfectly as a partner with the capability and expertise to help us bridge the gap between now and the future. Their solution solves our storage and compliance needs, while ensuring we have the most cost-effective and efficient solution that frees up our staff to focus on patient care.”
New retention and lifecycle management functionality: Relieve the pressures of storage & compliance
The massive growth of medical data brings the additional challenge of straining storage and management capacity, complicated by regulatory requirements for archiving and protecting this data, also known as information lifecycle management. The solution is to archive or delete obsolete information – data that exceeded its “retention period” and no longer needed to satisfy regulatory (e.g. HIPAA) or clinical care requirements. To address retention and lifecycle management, hospitals must have an understanding of their legal and clinical requirements as well as the capability to manage the retention and destruction of date based on retention policies. Iron Mountain’s VNA manages the archiving process and data is tiered so that inactive data is stored using more economical storage systems over time; destruction is managed based on policies created within the VNA to destroy data that has exceeded the required retention period. And, in addition to encouraging customers to use these retention capabilities in the VNA, Iron Mountain also provides consulting services to help healthcare organizations develop the policies needed to effectively utilize these capabilities.
Iron Mountain’s vendor neutral archive provides healthcare organizations with an enterprise-wide repository for storing, accessing and managing medical images and other patient data. Customers like TRMC use it to consolidate medical imaging studies and patient data – traditionally stored in departmental-level archives found in radiology, cardiology and other areas of the hospital – into a single archive. Additionally, they can leverage the solution’s data retention management capabilities to delete inactive data when no longer required for clinical or compliance reasons. The net impact is lower costs, enhanced image sharing ability, better reliability and security, and ultimately improved patient care.
“The typical hospital system’s archive data grows at a rate of more than 40 percent year-over-year, straining storage and management resources,” said Ken Rubin, senior vice president and general manager, healthcare services for Iron Mountain. “Providers are looking for more control over their information while also looking to reduce the cost and complexity of managing this data. Our VNA allows them to liberate their data from their PACS to solve data sharing and access issues, removing the burden of managing their archiving and disaster recovery functions to focus on delivering a higher quality of patient care. The new retention management capability enables hospitals to substantially reduce their data storage costs even further. Providers like TRMC recognize that our single solution can solve these complex challenges, which is the reason why our VNA and cloud services have grown over 100 percent for each of the past three years.”
For more information on the Iron Mountain vendor neutral archive and Iron Mountain Healthcare Services, visit Iron Mountain at the 2012 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in booth 2558 or click here.
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) provides information management services that help organizations lower the costs, risks and inefficiencies of managing their physical and digital data. The Company’s solutions enable customers to protect and better use their information—regardless of its format, location or lifecycle stage—so they can optimize their business and ensure proper recovery, compliance and discovery. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain manages billions of information assets, including business records, electronic files, medical data, emails and more for organizations around the world. Visit www.ironmountain.com or follow the company on Twitter @IronMountain for more information.