Our Services & Technology
If you are currently
producing digital medical images or are considering the purchase of a modern CT,
MRI or mammography system, then you are familiar with the need to archive and view
these images with a picture archive and communications system (PACS). Operating
and supporting and independent PACS requires a significant capital investment as
well as an investment in technical support staff to maintain the system. As an alternative
to operating an independent and fragmented PACS system, OCI provides the opportunity
for organizations producing digital medical images to collaborate and share a system
resulting in more efficient healthcare delivery throughout the community and improved
services to providers and their patients.
Who owns the data?
Simply put, you own the medical imaging data you generate. OCI retains no control
over study images and is strictly a system architecture for interested medical imaging
providers to archive their images. At the conclusion of the agreement term, each
participating organization will have the option of migrating their study images
to another system or renewing their participation. This is the same decision any
PACS owner would face at the end of their PACS life cycle.
Will my proprietary data be compromised?
The core hardware components that make up the system will be located at a 3rd party,
neutral data center location in Hillsboro Oregon called Viawest. This is a commercial
facility specializing in maintaining high technology systems that require a high
degree of reliability and security. The core hardware for the picture archive and
communications system (PACS) will be 100% supported by Philips Medical Imaging and
IBM. The firewall and network architecture for the system will be entirely supported
by Viawest. Because of uptime guarantees that include financial penalties, Philips
Medical is the only organization with access to the core system hardware. With this
being the case, each participating medical imaging organization will have equal
access privileges to data on the system. Additionally, the system is equipped with
sophisticated auditing procedures that allow any individual accessing the patient
information to be quickly and easily identified.
How am I charged for participating in the system?
Each participating organization will be responsible for paying a one time cost per
save their studies to the archive. In addition, each participating organization
will be responsible for securing their own dedicated point to point T1 or fiber
connection from their facility to the data center. There are also some additional
fees required for migration and other services that are detailed in the Oregon Community
Imaging Participation Agreement.
Each organization will be required to project the study volumes for their organization
over the course of the participation term. Your cost per study rate will be determined
based on a sliding scale rate commensurate with your volume commitment. As part
of the participation agreement, each organization contributing medical images to
system will need to meet a minimum of 80% of their volume commitment.
Will my pricing increase once I am part of the system?
Your pricing will remain consistent for the term of your agreement. A shorter term
may be subject to increased costs per study as well as inflationary price adjustments
during the renewal process but the success of this collaborative effort depends
on the ability of OCI to add participating organizations, build a community x-ray
jacket, and keep costs as low as possible. However, the best way to guarantee price
stability for your organization is to commit to the longest available term.
Oregon Community Imaging Sliding Scale Cost Per Study
*Based on 7 year term agreement beginning 2008-2009
What additional savings result from a shared system?
Skilled IT (Information Technology) Support
Labor costs associated with hiring an experienced PACS administrator or skilled
information technology specialist to provide support for a system can be a significant
and often overlooked PACS expenditure. With a centralized system like the OCI model,
the “heavy lifting” of information technology support for the core system is included
and proportionally distributed among all participants within the cost per study
Network Bandwidth to Secondary Data Center
Leading PACS systems incorporate design features into their architecture to safeguard
patient medical imaging information in the event of a catastrophic event such as
a building fire, internal flood or other hazard. The gold standard approach for
data backup within the IT industry is to archive a secondary copy of all information
in a remote location; however, many organizations do not have the resources to maintain
a secondary site for backup storage. OCI has activated private, high bandwidth DS3
network circuits from the Viawest facility in Hillsboro to IBM’s highly secure and
reliable data warehouse located in Texas as part of its service.
Internet Bandwidth For Distributing Images to Providers
can be very expensive
for small or medium sized organizations to justify the costs of high bandwidth circuits
to the internet. Most small and medium sized businesses connect to the internet
using the same DSL or cable connections that deliver internet services to residential
homes. These internet connections were designed to promote faster download speeds
for users on the internet than for serving out or uploading large data files like
those generated through medical imaging (30-75Mb). Typical upload speeds with DSL
or cable lines are less than 1mbps while typical download speeds range from 1.5-3mbps.
Due to shared participation with the community model, OCI has activated a connection
to the internet that allows superior upload speeds of 10mbps to expedite the process
and experience of image distribution to healthcare providers.
Annual Licensing Fees
It is common for PACS systems to include annual licensing fees for proprietary operating
system and database software. With OCI, annual licensing fees are included.
Providing electrical power to core hardware systems can be a significant and often
overlooked PACS expenditure. Under the OCI model, electrical utility costs are included
in cost per study pricing.
As an increasing number of providers adopt electronic medical records (EMR) it becomes
increasingly important to integrate image viewing across multiple EMR platforms.
Participating medical imaging providers can leverage the benefits of OCI’s EMR integration
Network of Secure VPN Connections
Participating medical imaging providers will also benefit from the secure VPN connections
that OCI establishes with the major healthcare systems in the Portland area.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Preparing images to distribute to another medical imaging facility where a patient
has directed their care can require significant labor, time and supplies. With a
shared system, comparison studies from participating facilities are immediately
available for review. This results in improved operational efficiency that expedites
patient care and reduces report turnaround time for better patient outcomes.
What is the timeline for establishing services?
The core system was installed in Hillsboro at the Viawest data center on August
6, 2008. Salem Radiology Consultants and the Salem Hospital will begin copying all
of their historic image and report data to the new system beginning October 20,
2008. The system is scheduled to go live on October 27, 2008. Organizations that
wish to participate will be implemented in the order of finalizing an agreement
with Oregon Community Imaging, LLC.
How do I become a participant for sending the medical images I generate to the
You may request a participation agreement by contacting R.A. Neitzel at (503) 399-1262
or submit an online request by
What advantages does a community PACS system present?
- Single point of access for the patient’s complete history of radiographs
- Significant savings by not having to re-archive and pay for comparison studies obtained
from other local medical imaging facilities.
- Greater operational efficiency in the radiology departments
- Faster report turnaround time with comparison studies readily and immediately available
- Single point of access for provider’s electronic access to a patient’s history of
- Leveraged marketing from each facility directing providers to a common community
- Greater provider adoption of electronic viewing and reduced film and courier costs
- Help desk for users requiring assistance
- Avoid the duplication of I.T. support resources across the community
- Common integration with EPIC and NextGen EMR systems
- Overall reduction in PACS costs than could be obtained independently
- Adoption of the premier, most highly rated PACS product in the industry
At the heart of the OCI system is the Philips iSite Enterprise PACS. The iSite system is the industry’s
leading technology solution for medical image management and distribution.
Download Ocipacs network schematic
Reliability & Redundancy
OCI understands the critical role that medical imaging plays in the care and treatment
of patients. We
also understand the necessity that image viewing systems be reliably available on
a 24/7 basis. OCI through its relationship with Viawest and Philips medical has
engineered a technically robust system with unparalleled reliability features. Highlighting
some of these features, Philips has provided OCI with uptime guarantees which allow
no more than 5 minutes of unscheduled system downtime per month without incurring
financial penalties. It attains this level of reliability using clustered worklist/database
servers, replicated RAID 5 Direct Attached Storage (DAS) units for critical image
data, and load-balanced fail-over servers. The Viawest environment which is the
home site for the core system hardware is located directly off Portland General
Electric’s primary power generation facility. All incoming electrical power at the
Viawest facility is cleansed through a conversion process transforming incoming
alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and then back to AC before supplying
OCI power modules. The Viawest facility is equipped with redundant power supplies
which allow it to operate entirely from PGE’s public power grid or independently
through industrial scale diesel generators. Network connectivity from each medical
imaging provider is the responsibility of the member organization through independent
contract with network providers such as Comcast and Qwest. To ensure the ongoing
reliability of the system, Philip’s proprietary heartbeat technology performs minute-by-minute
self diagnostic analysis which is communicated to the Philips technical support
center on a 24/7/365 basis.