AdvaPACS Disaster Recovery (DR) Solution for Singapore

AdvaPACS DR is a solution for Singapore healthcare organisations in response to the MOH’s circular for the amendment to guidelines of retention periods.

On 19 July 2022, the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) issued a MOH Circular No. 84/2022 that outlined the amendments to the National Guidelines for Retention Periods of Medical Records. Effective from the date of issuance, these changes will have significant changes to all segments within healthcare, in relation to patient records including diagnostic images.
Annexes A and B highlight the below changes with regard to diagnostic images.

SG Annex

Please refer to the circular here

This raises the following questions for all healthcare organisations:

  1. How will your organisation plan for the growth of storage of patient images AND patient medical records into, what is essentially, perpetuity?
    If you currently have an on-premise PACS server, the likelihood that you will require to upgrade your server to ensure you “do not run out of space” regularly is going to be an ongoing issue. An alternative would be to over-provision your current infrastructure, which comes at an unnecessary cost. The new legal timeline far exceeds any hardware lifespan, which will then require hardware refreshes every 5-7 years, with the IT maintenance cost to support it.
  2. Does your PACS server have a back up?
    If your organisation doesn’t already have a backup, to mitigate risk, a backup of all patient images and data will be required. With an on-premise server, that then leads to the same issues outlined in item 1 above!
  3. If you already have a backup, how reliable is your back up?
    Even back ups are at risk of issues and disasters. How many back ups do you need to maintain? Where is your back up located? At what risk is it of potentially failing as well?
    Your PACS back up should be offsite and replicated to at least two different locations
    Not having considered these, will again lead back to the issues up in item 1.

AdvaPACS can help you solve these problems in a cost-effective and simple way while allowing you to maintain full legal compliance.

AdvaPACS is a complete SaaS cloud-native PACS solution that is vendor neutral.

What exactly does this mean?

  • Our solution is built for the cloud, which means, we can utilise the redundancy and availability of the cloud, while keeping costs low (as opposed to being merely hosted in the cloud).
  • Being a true Software as a Service product, the solution is fully managed by AdvaHealth Solutions (AHS) which means, no more requirement for IT support, and ongoing “licence fees”.
  • Our solution is completely vendor neutral and we can store DICOM images from any modality brands (across all healthcare segments such as Radiology, Oncology, Opthalmology, Dentistry etc), as well as have the capability to upload any non-DICOM documents/files as well such as patient records.

Some additional key benefits of AdvaPACS include:

  1. No lock-in contract makes you in control of your own data and PACS. As AdvaPACS is standards based, along with the APIs we offer (DICOM 3.0, DICOMweb, FHIR), you can do what you want with the data.
  2. No capital outlay
    Forget a capital expenditure required upfront, no more large hardware server infrastructure required. An AdvaPACS Gateway server is required to securely connect your modalities to the AdvaPACS cloud. However, the performance requirements for these are low and can be run on commodity hardware such as mini-computers.
  3. No hardware/infrastructure cost on-going
    This, in particular, directly addresses the issues raised above about managing the scale and growth of data, and the ongoing storage.
    With an on-premise PACS you will be required to purchase extensive hardware with significant capital expenditure. An on-premise PACS is also a long-term commitment, which means it will require periodic hardware refreshes, involving upgrades and/or replacements. Let’s not forget annual maintenance expenditure such as antivirus, back up and replication, operating system, database licensing AND cost of staff for managing the hardware. Additionally, if you miscalculate the growth and space required, more hardware upgrades will be required.
    With AdvaPACS, your PACS is fully managed by as a software as a service. Under our operating model, our fee is all inclusive of the system, maintenance and support. This includes the operation and maintenance of all infrastructure in line with best security and operational practices including highly available and redundant application clusters and data replication. For the life of the service, no “hardware refresh” is required.
  4. Your data is secure
    AdvaPACS is ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified and we regularly conduct penetration testing by CREST accredited testers. Additionally, AWS storage in itself is secure. All data is encrypted when stored on our servers and when in transmission across our networks.
  5. AWS will back up your back up
    With AdvaPACS, your data is stored across a minimum of three different data centres (all within Singapore) in real time. This results in a data durability guarantee of 99.999999999% from our cloud service provider. AdvaPACS operates across a minimum of 3 availability zones to ensure the highest level of availability on auto-scaling and self-healing application clusters.
  6. Cost-effective Solution
    In addition to items 2 and 3 which significantly reduce your upfront and maintenance costs, when you use AdvaPACS, you only pay for what you use.

Download the AdvaPACS DR brochure to learn more! If this is a pressing concern for you, read more about AdvaPACS here, or contact us today.