IMPAX Data Center integrates with existing picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) in multiple clinical departments and facilities, allowing the USAF to visualize, or image-enable, its electronic health record (EHR) and consolidating clinical patient data into a single archive, accessible from the point of care. Compliant with the DICOM 3.0 and HL7 standards and the IHE Technical Framework standards for storage, IMPAX Data Center can integrate with any DICOM 3.0 standards-based PACS.
The management of clinical imaging data from multiple sites and facilities is challenging because each location typically chooses its own PACS to meet its specific technology and work flow needs. Multi-site organisations often must deal with fragmented data that is "locked in" to disparate departmental data silos and therefore only accessible to users at that site. IMPAX Data Center allows an organisation to create a shared "system of record" for the complete patient imaging history, consolidating imaging records from many sources and providing longitudinal access to this information.
"With multiple medical sites and an extremely mobile patient base, it's critical that all Air Force medical staff have access to all patient images and related information, regardless of the facility or department or origin", stated Tom Lewis, Director, Air Force PACS Office. "IMPAX Data Center will allow physicians at our medical treatment facilities to access patient imaging data that was acquired its other sites."
In addition to enhanced delivery of patient care, IMPAX Data Center will result in cost savings associated with operating and maintaining multiple PACS. It can reduce the cost of maintaining multiple departmental image archives and the expensive and time-consuming data migrations associated with periodic PACS and infrastructure replacements.
The IMPAX Data Center archiving solution is part of the USAF's strategy to create a truly integrated global health care delivery system. The USAF plans to ultimately connect all of its medical treatment facilities to a global IMPAX Data Center model.
"The Air Force and other branches of the armed services are pioneering the use of technology to meet the challenges of medical imaging in a complex multi-site health care environment", stated Tim Artz, Global Government Programme Director Agfa HealthCare. "Health care networks in the private sector that face similar challenges can look to the Air Force as a leader in creating a more efficient and cost-effective health care system."
Agfa HealthCare has developed a strong presence in United States military and VA hospitals and medical treatment facilities, which use its digital radiography solutions (CR), its IMPAX image management solutions and its speech recognition solutions. The company's technology is installed in more than 160 military and VA facilities, including 14 sites in Europe, five of the VA's multi-facility Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs), and more than 30 Navy ships. More company news is available in the VMW February 2009 article Ontario Government provides Agfa HealthCare with CAD$29,6 million grant to support further growth.