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PACS Poses Storage Challenge

SAN DIEGO -- Storage Networking World -- The healthcare industry's shift toward Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) technology for digital radiography images is presenting CIOs with a new set of storage challenges, according to execs here.

During his keynote today, Dennis L'Heureux, CIO of Rockford Health System, explained that the move from physical film to digital images has prompted a major storage overhaul. "That's probably my largest application in terms of requiring storage capability," he said. "Significant infrastructure is required."

L'Heureux told Byte and Switch that he deployed a PACs system from McKesson last year and is using a 7.6-Tbyte SAN as its foundation. This, he added, involves RAID 10 arrays and technology from SAN specialist Xiotech.

Rockford Health undertakes around 142,000 radiography exams a year, so L'Heureux highlighted the redundancy and indexing capabilities of RAID 10, as well as the scalability of networked storage. "SAN, I think, offers more flexibility and quicker retrieval, so I don't have to go back and go through a tape library," he explained.

L'Heureux, who deployed the $4.2 million PACS last year, now expects a serious return on his investment. This, he said, will slash the amount of money spent handling and processing film, not to mention freeing up valuable hospital resources. Silver oxide films, for example, are currently stored in a 5,000-square-foot basement. "There's considerable cost savings, particularly if we can convert that 5,000 square feet to a revenue producing function."

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