White Papers

White Papers February 2009

HP Medical Archive Solution: Facilitating Data Retention and Compliance for Healthcare Providers

Terri McClure and Brian Babineau

Advances in digital imaging technologies and electronic patient record systems are presenting healthcare IT professionals with a number of new challenges in storing, managing, securing, and protecting information. A typical Computed Tomography (CT) study today consists of 256 slices-each slice is an individual image. At 0.5 MB per image, this generates 128 MB for a single study. A Computed Radiography (CR) image is 10 MB and a Direct Radiography (DR) image 18 MB. Add other medical imaging requirements, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), digital mammography, and x-ray images, and it is not unheard of for a large medical facility to produce more than 20 TB a year in patient data. And while radiology continues to be the powerhouse of medical imaging, significant advances in cardiac imaging and pathology are also generating very large files, further impacting healthcare providers' storage requirements. With technology advances such as high definition scanning on the horizon, this is just the beginning of a digital information explosion for healthcare providers.

Innovations in imaging and other medical technology are not the only drivers of change in healthcare provider IT. Increased government regulations also have a tremendous impact on how healthcare provider organizations manage patient information. Government regulations now mandate that patient data be retained for long periods of time and during that period, it must be protected, secured, and still remain accessible to the right people-even if disaster strikes.

As a result, healthcare provider organizations face a delicate balancing act: meeting government-driven availability, compliance, and access requirements while dealing with data growth and fostering secure sharing and collaboration. This paper describes the aforementioned healthcare information technology challenges in detail and discusses how HP's Medical Archive solution (MAS) helps address these issues.

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