By Tony Cotterill
Recently, the BridgeHead team caught up with Greg Muller, director of business development, and Bronson Hokuf, vice president and product development manager, at Laurel Bridge Software, Inc. Their technical team completed a rigorous validation test of BridgeHead’s VNA offering this summer. VNA capabilities must be robust and reliable for handling sensitive patient data within a hospital. Laurel Bridge, with long experience in serving hospitals with efficient DICOM image migration between and among PACS systems, is well aware of the essential capabilities required in a VNA.
The interview below captures their thoughts following the successful test.
Q. What was the impetus for the Laurel Bridge Software Partnership with BridgeHead Software?
A. Originally, we met BridgeHead through our DICOM migration and DICOM routing services. Getting to know BridgeHead, we saw that they had a strong, long-term background in the storage business with thousands of installs worldwide. We, similarly, had broad experience in the moving and handling of DICOM data with thousands of users worldwide. By working together and combining the best of both our strengths we could better meet the needs of our clients.
Q. Laurel Bridge conducted a rigorous assessment of the BridgeHead VNA solution. What exactly were you looking for?
A. When we began to contemplate recommending the BridgeHead VNA solution, we wanted to prove the quality of their implementation by doing our own testing and evaluation. We wanted a robust, reliable system that we were confident would properly store and protect patient data, a system on which we could stake our corporate reputation. We also looked with an eye towards integration with our own product mix; it all needed to be able to work together. With over 20 years of history developing DICOM libraries and applications, we had pretty strong opinions about how things should work.
Q. Can you describe how the BridgeHead VNA solution meets your criteria for endorsement?
A. We needed to see the VNA work for ourselves. We installed the BridgeHead VNA solution at our facilities and assigned engineers to stress the system. Automated and custom test utilities loaded and exercised the system beyond what might normally be expected. We sent a full range of “bad” DICOM data to the VNA. Together we worked with BridgeHead to identify what should happen with unusual cases and scenarios. The end result of this joint effort was that we agreed on a number of enhancements that could strengthen the VNA offering. Through the process, we got to know each other’s organizations and people and found that we were comfortable working together.
Q. What are the benefits to Laurel Bridge to being able to offer both DICOM workflow solutions and a VNA storage solution to its end customers?
A. This combination allows us to play to each company’s strengths. Historically, we have done everything DICOM, although we have consciously never wanted to be a PACS company. Over time storage solutions have matured and become a component of most imaging workflows. We wanted to be able to offer our customers a solution to both their image routing and storage needs, highly configurable solution sets that we were confident would work together and meet their organizational needs for the long term. Partnering with BridgeHead has met that goal for us and for our customers.
As the Chief Product Officer (CPO) for BridgeHead, I just want to add a few thoughts of my own. Laurel Bridge’s recent validation and test activity has been greatly encouraging with regards to our product strategy and direction for VNA. They found our software to be robust and relevant to the community of hospitals and partners that they have served for so long. We are pleased to take their suggestions, and we look forward to much more in the way of mutual benefit as we work together to assist hospitals into true heatlthcare focused archives in the future.
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