McKesson Technologies has won a long-term comprehensive contract from the Defense Logistics Agency within the Department of Defense to build and operate its Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communications System.

The $400 million contract DIN-PACS includes provisions that will possibly have it in force until the end of 2027. The project anticipates an open system network of digital devices to acquire, transmit, display and manage diagnostic imaging studies. The solution will serve all branches of the United States Military.

“DIN-PACS provides for diagnostic X-ray images in digital output that can be transmitted for analysis anywhere in the hospital or in the world,” according to the department. “The vision for radiology is to create a virtual radiology department by eliminating multiple ‘place’ constraints that arise both within and between diagnostic centers.”

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DIN-PACs will eliminate the necessity of creating film and enable access to images by many users at any place or time, which will support shifting workloads to any location where clinical expertise is required.

System reliability is a high priority. DIN-PACs will be designed with sufficient redundancy so that no single point of failure can halt radiology services. In doing so, the system will include an uninterruptable power supply, protect against loss of acquired images and data, and provide a means to enter missed images at a later time if there is a failure. DIN-PACS is expected to maintain overall system uptime of 99 percent monthly, along with individual component uptimes of at least 99 percent monthly.

DoD will expect maintenance and support response time of 4 hours or less during the 0800-1700 time period and four hours or less during the remainder of the day, with certain measures specified to determine how response will proceed from beginning to end.

“The DIN-PACs software and the system commercial operating system provided must not be self-canceling, which is interpreted to mean the function of the software will not be stopped due to elapsing time or other condition not identified with the original equipment purchase,” DoD emphasizes to vendors interested in getting on the contract and working with McKesson. “The prime contractor is responsible to ensure any third-party provided software is included in this restriction.”

DoD expects that DIN-PACS will support the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative (IHE) for sending and receiving DICOM images and reports.

McKesson will be responsible for providing all hardware and software to integrate DICOM devices with the PACS, support all new DICOM corrections and supplements quickly if possible and no later than the next major commercial upgrade, and shall support DICOM structured reporting. Further, the government mandates that it be able to purchase required spare parts from the vendor for seven years following final system acceptance.

McKesson personnel were not available for additional comment.

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