ASP Backup Archive
With the development of PACS technology and an increasing demand by medical facilities to become filmless, there is a need for a fast and efficient method for providing data backup for disaster recovery and downtime scenarios. We have successfully implemented an Application Service Provider (ASP) solution for St. John’s Health Center (SJHC) using a fault-tolerant backup archive at the Image Processing Informatics Lab (IPI) with a T1 connection. Since last year, we have extended the ASP Backup Archive for the USC Healthcare Consultation Center II (HCC2) utilizing an Internet2 (I2) connection.
Once implemented, the backup archive system offers fast and ease-of-use DICOM query/retrieve from any of the remote sites when the primary archive onsite is unavailable. For some PACS sites, there is no off site backup copy and the images are vulnerable to a catastrophic loss. PACS sites that do not use an offsite facility may store a second copy of the images in close proximity to the original, leaving both copies potentially vulnerable to loss. The simplest solution is to store the second copy in an offsite storage vault. However, storage in a vault does not allow quick retrieval of the data during a disaster since the data media must be retrieved from the offsite vault and a replacement archive must be in place before the data can be loaded. For this reason, the PACS site would be unable to resume operation within a reasonable amount of time. In addition, historical images are necessary in order for a Radiologist to read new cases which would be unavailable if the primary archive site suffers a downtime.
The figure below shows the current configuration of the ASP Backup Archive for 2 sites at the IPI Laboratory.