Our Services & Technology

Business Case

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 study to 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.

Volume commitments

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 model.

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

It 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.

Electrical Power
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.

EMR Integration
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 efforts.

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 community system?

You may request a participation agreement by contacting R.A. Neitzel at (503) 399-1262 or submit an online request by clicking here

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 medical imaging
  • Leveraged marketing from each facility directing providers to a common community PACS database
  • 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


System

At the heart of the OCI system is the Philips Intellispace Enterprise PACS. The iSite system is the industry’s leading technology solution for medical image management and distribution.


Architecture

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.