NSW Health admits "high incidence of 'lost' images," plans enterprise archive

NSW Health plans to build an archive of medical images capable of storing 20 million records and delivering 100 megabyte files over a WAN in ten seconds. A new SAN with RAID6 protection and SATA disks is at the heart of the solution.

NSW Health plans a new archive of medical images to provide greater accessibility to medical imaging studies irrespective of where the studies were undertaken" and is planning an enterprise-wide archive to make this possible while adding 3 to 6 million new images a year. The new archive is expected to provide "a centralised data store of medical imaging studies from across the State that allows accessibility to studies across the Health Organisations." NSW Health currently collects medical images using picture archiving systems (PACS) systems from GE, Siemens, CDN and Kodak.

The new archive is hoped to provide a centrally -accessible archive of images from all of those systems and will also be expected to ensure the integrity of data, as the tender says that "A high incidence of 'lost' images" is one of the challenges it currently faces.

Another requirements is the capability "to support future bulk loading of up to 20+ million patient records," while the daily transactional load of the system is expected to see between 4,000 and 6,000 images accessed.

Access time for the images, which NSW Health says are typically 100MB in size, is expected to be possible over a WAN link in ten seconds.

The agency outlined its plans in a tender issued yesterday which spells out its desire to acquire a new storage area network (SAN) to house the archive. The organisation is, however, open to the possibility of NAS or other storage hardware, provided tenderers are willing to provide data on the total cost of ownership over the life of the project. Disk is, however, the only medium mentioned and the tender mentions "slow" SATA disk as its preferred option and specifies "RAID6/parity protection (must be able to handle dual disk failure to provide'in datacentre zero-data-loss')" as another requirement.

Speed is another important requirement, with the tender offering the following requirements:





Copy 100 megabyte DICOM image from PACS to Enterprise Archive

<5 seconds

 <10 seconds

 >10 seconds

Retrieve a 100 megabyte image from Enterprise Archive into PACS

<5 seconds

 <10 seconds

 >10 seconds

Display of object metadata in PACS <3 seconds

 <5 seconds

 >5 seconds


Display of object metadata in local system

(e.g. EMR)<3 seconds

 <5 seconds

 >5 seconds

Display selected object in local system (e.g. EMR)

<5 seconds

 <10 seconds

 >10 seconds

The tender makes frequent mentions of an "object repository" as the key technology for the archive and offers the following guidelines for the system:

a) Ease of use - The Enterprise Archive Solution must be easy to use so that study retrieval, storage and other associated functionality can be performed in a highly efficient manner by the relevant users of the Enterprise Archive;

b) Support for standards – The Enterprise Archive Solution architectural constructs are to comply with the NSW Health Technology Standards – Standard Technology Product Acquisition Guide attached at Appendix B;

c) Reliability & Availability – the Enterprise Archive Solution must provide a level of availability that ensures its continued, reliable use. Availability is defined as the percentage of time in which a product, service or connected site is operational. Currently NSW Health is seeking a 95% availability level for the Enterprise Archive Solution, across all Enterprise Archive Components. However, the proposed architecture should be able to scale to a high availability level of 99.99% in the future for corporate capabilities, the Patient Registry and Enterprise Service Bus;

d) Reuse of existing licensed software – NSW Health’s preference is to where possible, reuse, redeploy and reconfigure infrastructure already deployed to Health Organisation’s and HSS data centres this includes the reuse of both infrastructure and software licensing where corporate licenses already exist). This is of particular relevance to the Enterprise Service Bus where NSW Health has mandated the use of SUN JCAPS;

e) Extensibility & Scalability – the Enterprise Archive must be capable of State-wide General Deployment and provide a level of scalability to expand the Enterprise Archive in accordance with annual growth projections.

f) Modular – where possible the Enterprise Archive Solution design is to be modular, flexible and each Enterprise Archive Component should be loosely coupled and autonomous;

g) Project duration – implementation of the Enterprise Archive Solution to all Health Organisations is to be completed within two (2) years from the date the Pilot Phase commences;

h) Within budget - Tenderers should be aware that NSW Health has a fixed capital budget for the Enterprise Archive Solution that includes software, hardware, services and NSW Health costs; and

i) Investment period – NSW Health will consider a ten (10) year investment horizon for the Enterprise Archive Solution. Tenderers will be required to provide cost estimates for a 10 year period.

Source: Tender HT09011

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