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Comput Med Imaging Graph. 2003;27(2-3):165-74.

Trends in PACS image storage and archive.

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Enterprise Imaging Informatics, UCLA Healthcare, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA.


PACS is widely used in hospitals and is considered a mission critical system for around-the-clock daily clinical operation. Scheduled or unscheduled downtime of the main PACS archive storage or server could potentially cripple the entire PACS operation. This is especially the case in a filmless hospital environment. Therefore, in a downtime event, it is most desirable for users to have only a minimal performance impact without interruption of clinical data flow or loss of data and to have available historical PACS studies. This paper summarizes some of the developments in the design and implementation of a reliable PACS that insures maximum uptime for end users while preserving the integrity of the PACS data and making it available during downtime events. It also details strategy for developing proper clinical workflow contingency procedures when a scheduled downtime event to the main archive storage and server occurs. Specifically, the design and implementation of a fault-tolerant (FT) main archive server, the development of a FT back-up archive using an application service provider (ASP) model, and the clinical experiences while upgrading a main archive server and migrating the stored PACS data to new storage media will be discussed.

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