A regional, or rather, a cantonal archive!

The outsourced imaging archive in Neuchâtel

In 2011, the hospitals of the Neuchâtel canton in Switzerland chose to install a Telemis PACS, and to connect all 7 facilities within the same image network. The project entailed the recovery of an existing PACS archive, and the installation of a cantonal archive, to store all medical imaging produced since 2004 in a single safe and decentralised place. Over 9 years of radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy images (DICOM-RT) are now held entirely outside the infrastructure of any hospital, within the Centre Electronique de Gestion de Neuchâtel, and are instantly accessible by all public hospitals in the canton area.

The Centre Electronique de Gestion de Neuchâtel (CEG)
"The Centre Electronique de Gestion (CEG) is the IT headquarters of Neuchâtel", reports Mr Daniel Crevoisier, Head of CEG. "Its activity ranges from technical installation project management to the maintenance of implemented systems. The canton of Neuchâtel has a network that connects all the buildings housing the local public authorities via highspeed broadband (1Gb/s)". For the last 2 years, the CEG has hosted the canton's entire archive of medical images. A copy of this archive is also made outside the building on a daily basis, in order to guarantee that data held in archival storage is permanently safe.
The CEG also hosts the TM-Publisher Web server, which makes images available for use by all GPs, and extending the idea of filmless hospital to the whole region.

So why have both a centralised and an outsourced archive?
The main reason was to spread the risks in terms of archiving and to facilitate the maintenance of the systems at peripheral locations. This explains the existence of an architecture that is both centralised within the CEG and distributed locally in the form of temporary storage of the most recent archives. If one of the three servers is unavailable, the user thus has two further possibilities for accessing the images. As Christian Isch, Head of the PACS project in Neuchâtel, confirms: "Having such security available means that physical and networkrelated maintenance operations can be transparent. The effects of the rare planned outages that are needed as we develop our infrastructure have not even been felt by users!"

The overall appraisal
Mr Fabrizio De Biase, PACS technical project manager at the CEG, concludes: "The overall appraisal is excellent. The architecture that has been used, which is designed to be both simple and effective, meets all our expectations".