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About Inova Health System

As Northern Virginia’s largest non-profit healthcare provider, Inova Health System’s 20,000 team members service more than two million patient visits annually. The INOVA care network comprises 7 hospitals, as well as numerous specialty and urgent care clinics.

The Problem

Inova Health System needed an intelligent study distribution solution to support and enable the full functionality of their new PACS system. The team requested a dynamic router to address the complexity of connecting legacy source systems and ensuring seamless workflow in 7 hospitals, an independent Imaging Center, and a centralized data center. Writing individual scripts to code countless workflow requirements was not an option for a project of this scale. In scoping the solution, the IT team encountered significant syntax issues preventing PACS ingestion from existing sources. Incomplete and non-standard DICOM data prevented clean Transfer Syntax negotiation resulting in incomplete, missing and dirty data at the destination for multiple SOP Classes.

The Solution

With the Silverback® Workflow Engine positioned between the modalities and target PACS and VNA, Inova now has a centralized, intelligent workflow engine to monitor and configure their imaging network at any time from any place. Leveraging intelligent and customizable tools within the platform, the team:

  • Set customized logic profiles for image distribution to cloud PACS and data center based VNA.
  • Configured HA within the central data center to support on-premise operations and mitigate bandwidth issues.
  • Set custom alerts and reports to track network performance.
  • Configured storage at each hospital to account for different workflows and volumes.
  • Set compression protocols by modality to ensure optimized network resources in transmission.
  • Customized a central dashboard to view and analyze all sites and systems from modality to the cloud.

With the DataFirst dedicated project team, the entire initiative was scoped, configured, installed, tested, and put into production in less than two months.


“With Silverback®, we now have a dynamic solution to manage and monitor study distribution throughout our imaging network.  From design to deployment, the DataFirst team provided us with the expertise and support to achieve all our objectives and timelines.”

 Lonnie Jano – Senior Systems Analyst, INOVA Health Systems

Looking Ahead

Beyond customized image distribution and failover capabilities, the IT team can leverage this dynamic asset for clinical efficiencies in prefetch, Q/C and short-term or long-term archiving. Strategically, the platform contains the industry-leading migration engine to support future acquisitions and infrastructure upgrade initiatives. Designed for intelligence and scale, the Silverback® platform is the solution to support any imaging enterprise today and tomorrow.


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Founded in 1990 by healthcare specialists and military veterans, DataFirst has become a recognized leader in healthcare information technology for its ability to solve imaging data challenges and implement interoperability initiatives across the healthcare enterprise.

With a focus on customer service and technology innovation, the company has continued to evolve from a migration service provider to a leading-edge software developer. As the most trusted migration partner for the largest imaging solution manufacturers, DataFirst completes over 250 migration projects annually. This experience has created the foundation for the development and commercialization of the most robust imaging management platform in the industry today, Silverback®.

An enterprise-grade workflow and migration engine, Silverback® is designed to tackle the toughest interoperability challenges in healthcare. Offering the tools to create, supplement and enhance workflows, the platform enables organizations to customize a solution for your unique requirements and business objectives.

With experience in more than 50% of the hospitals across the country, the company continues to support all projects with a team based entirely in the U.S. DataFirst continues to grow the dedicated R&D team based in Florida with the talent and resources needed to deliver innovation and next-generation solutions. For over 30 years, the company has set a standard of excellence to support our clinical and IT specialists in their mission to deliver world-class healthcare.

Beau Jones

Beau is the President and CEO of DataFirst with more than 22 years of experience in management and leadership roles in the healthcare and information services industries. Learn more about Beau's experiences and qualifications on our Leadership page.