Case Study - Ochsner

From 40 health IT platforms to one

Managing data can be messy and complicated at the best of times, especially where multiple departments in the same organisation have their own legacy IT systems. Making the switch to just one platform can be daunting, but the benefits can be huge, both in terms of cost savings and the ability to use that data more efficiently.

A complex challenge

Ochsner Health, Louisiana’s largest not-for-profit, healthcare system, which has over 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals, and more than 100 health centres and urgent care centres, took the strategic decision to deploy an entirely new enterprise imaging architecture, replacing a myriad of departmental-specific PACS. Working in direct partnership with Canon Medical Informatics, the challenge for DesAcc was to successfully manage the large-scale transition of data from 40 platforms into one.

As part of this process, the partnership required the move from Agfa IMPAX PACS and Agfa IDC to Canon’s Vitrea® Connection. Delivering this would require several migrations from multiple sources, spread across several go-live dates and 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and health centres.

A complex challenge

The numbers

410 TB
11 Million studies
Ochsner's Agfa IMPAX archive

640 TB
17 Million studies
All data archive

A safe pair of hands

A safe pair of hands

For nearly 30 years DesAcc has built specific expertise in Health Imaging software development. We have a deep understanding of cleansing and validating complex data too, having provided thousands of migration projects to clients with similarly complex needs.

Our extensive experience of working with source data systems - in this case the GE Enterprise Archive, and the destination Canon Vitrea® Connection system - meant that such a large-scale transition wasn’t one to faze us. We knew exactly how to approach and address the challenge at hand.

Over the years, DesAcc has developed a finely tuned Data Discovery process to assess the scope of any project, including issues that might emerge along the way. In this instance, Data Discovery was undertaken to deliver a smooth, swift and seamless solution. The process not only identified the precise amount and type of patient data held, and therefore the scale of the project, but also the best approach to moving the data, flagging any potential issues ahead of the operational implementation phase.

“We have a trusted relationship with DesAcc based on the integrity of their team and their ability to securely enable ‘action at scale’ for safe, efficient migrations.

The incredible knowledge and experience they have is unparalleled in the industry and only gained by vast industry experience over several migrations.”

Larry Sitka

VP/CSIO, Enterprise Application at Canon Medical Informatics

A multi-site migration solution

Our deep understanding of how data is stored and created within health IT, combined with our direct experience of working with a rich variety of vendors around the globe, led us to the quick conclusion that our ‘lift and shift’ migration approach would be the most efficient method of multiple site data migration.

Our team visited each location. Here legacy data was directly populated onto the storage disk, before being transported to the new central location. Next, our team cleansed the data before then moving it onto the Canon Vitrea® Connection system. This activity included migrating PACS data with annotations, as well as reports and scanned documents, to preserve patient imaging histories once the legacy PACS were switched off.

Importantly, DesAcc ensured that throughout the process, live access to data was maintained at all times, enabling the system to handle 800,000 HL7 messages a day. These were made available to clinical staff alongside images. This approach enabled round-the-clock migration without negative impact on clinical systems or patient care.

Our ability to do this is the product of having worked with vendors for many years, building a deep understanding of how they operate. Using this hard-earned knowledge, combined with world-leading expertise and cutting-edge, smart software solutions, we were able to access and process data at pace in a way the few others can come close to.

A multi-site migration solution

“With a migration of our size and complexity, we need partners whom understand how data is stored, structured and moved at scale.”

Amy Trainor

Vice President, Clinical Systems at Ochsner Health

The result

Through the adoption of the DesAcc ‘lift and shift’ system, Ochsner Health achieved its migration to one system in record time - ten times faster that industry average DICOM. By comparison a standard Query/Retrieve approach could have taken years. Importantly, this approach eliminated constraints and speed restrictions that would have been unavoidable if the same data had been moved over the network.


Uptime during the migration


faster than average DICOM


HL7 messages handled per day

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