DICOM Migration: The Key to Improving Healthcare Data Management

A woman leading her team to a successful PACS VNA migration

DICOM Migration: The Key to Improving Healthcare Data Management

  • Category Articles
  • Date Published Apr 26, 2023
  • Written by Christopher Lewis
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In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, managing medical images and related data is more important than ever before. That’s where DICOM comes in, providing a standard for storing, exchanging, and transmitting medical images and related data. However, as technology continues to advance and business needs change, DICOM migration from one source to another is an inevitability for any healthcare organization. With that in mind, let’s talk about not only the value of regular imaging data migration but the key steps to successful migration.

So… Why is DICOM Migration Important?

We get it! Migrating systems can be a huge undertaking — not to mention a massive headache. Regardless, the facts are simple: DICOM migration is an unavoidable and crucial process for healthcare facilities to undertake. Why?

  1. Upgrading Imaging Equipment and Software: What healthcare org couldn’t use new tools to improve their performance?? DICOM migration enables healthcare providers to upgrade their imaging equipment and software, which can not only increase operational performance but improve patient care and outcomes. Faster systems equal happier staff and better modalities make for stronger diagnoses. Upgrading equipment is a win-win!

  2. Consolidating Imaging Data: Facts are facts — healthcare as an industry is shifting. Mergers and acquisitions are daily occurrences and with that comes the consolidation of data systems. DICOM migration allows for the consolidation of imaging data from multiple facilities, providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s medical history. This helps healthcare providers make more informed decisions regarding patient care.

Accessing and Sharing Patient Data: Sharing is caring! DICOM migration enables healthcare providers to access and share patient data securely, ensuring that sensitive information is protected.

Challenges of DICOM Migration — What’s Going to Happen??

Let’s not beat around the bush: While DICOM migration is essential, it can absolutely be a complex and challenging process. We’ve been doing this for over two decades and in those years we’ve seen a lot of headaches come and go. Let’s talk about some of the challenges healthcare facilities may encounter during DICOM migration:

  1. Data Quality Issues: Do you know what’s lurking in your PACS or VNA? Outdated order codes, corrupted files, proprietary formatting all pose serious risks. Improperly migrated data can cause data loss, corrupted files, even security breaches — so choose your migration partners wisely!

  2. Compatibility Issues: Not all systems are created equally and manufacturers love to structure their systems with proprietary formatting. Even between systems of the same producer, compatibility issues are likely to arise between different imaging systems or software versions, making it difficult to transfer data between them.

  3. Security Risks: DICOM data is sensitive information and shouldn’t be trusted in just anyone’s hands! It goes without saying that it is essential to protect patient information during the migration process. Seek out partners with voluntary security qualifications.

  4. Cost and Time Constraints: We have no reason to lie to you — DICOM migration can be expensive and time-consuming, particularly if you choose to do so on your own. Be sure to ask about your partner’s ability to migrate data without an impact on your clinical speed.

Set Yourself Up for A Successful DICOM Migration

Whew! You’ve made it this far. We know why you might need to migrate and the challenges you’re likely to face. So… what’s next? Here’s the 1-2-3 of beginning your migration journey:

  1. Determine the Scope of the Migration: Be prepared and identify the extent of your unique migration, including the data to be transferred, the systems involved, and your internal stakeholders.

  2. Establish Budget and Timeline: This one should shock no one, but here we are reminding you — it pays to know your budget and establish your timeline needs in advance. These won’t only impact one another, but will absolutely inform which partner is best for your project.

  3. Choose Your Migration Partner: Very few healthcare facilities have the technology, resources, and time necessary to manage a DICOM migration on their own. For that reason, companies like LAITEK are here to help! We’ll repeat it again: choose your partner wisely. Vet them carefully, ask deep questions about their process, the risk of data loss, and the impact on your operational speed.

Two people shake hands over a laptop. A rusted resource in knowing what a DICOM PACS migration is.

Choose your partner wisely and Maximize your valuable data

At LATIEK, we think you and your team deserve the best possible data systems. As a SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO certified company, we hold ourselves to the very highest standard of delivery. Why settle for less?


Ready to start looking? LAITEK has you covered. Our Advanced DICOM Migration is the industry’s preferred source for DICOM migration — find out why.

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