Chesterfield Royal Hospital has become the latest Trust in the East Midlands to go live with a system that allows regional hospitals to share diagnostic images.
The Royal has been part of the East Midlands Radiology Network (EMRAD)for some time and will now be able to share x-ray and other scanned images in real-time through a new Picture Archive Communication System (PACS)with neighbouring Trusts. This will give patients across the region, a faster diagnosis and improved care.
This means that health experts at the Royal, Kettering General, Northampton General, Sherwood Forest, United Lincolnshire and Nottingham University can share their knowledge and experience for the benefit of patients.
Anoop Unnikrishnan is the Royal’s Divisional Director for the Integrated Care Division and oversaw the Trust’s involvement, he said: “This is a wonderful achievement for the Trust and will ensure that our radiologists and those involved in supporting diagnostic care will be able to complement each other and draw on each other’s expertise as part of a collaborative approach.
“It means that we will be able to reach clinical decisions in a more informed and timely manner, share information about patients who have perhaps visited different local hospitals for the purpose of a diagnosis more effectively which will lead to a faster diagnosis, swifter treatment plan and better outcome for the patient.
“Meanwhile for our clinicians it represents a tremendous opportunity to share learning and knowledge, benefit from adopting new skills and training that are available through EMRAD masterclasses and become part of a wider network of colleagues in terms of providing and receiving support.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the project, both clinical and technical, for making this happen. A lot of hard work has been done across the board to make sure that we now have a system in place that will of benefit to patients and colleagues across the region.”
Amy Quick is the Application Support Lead who has been responsible for the technical side of implementing the new system. She said: “The East Midlands Imaging Network is very well established and we’ve benefitted from joining the image sharing system at a very good time. The Picture Archive and Communication System and reporting tool are incredibly robust and will complement the expertise of our clinicians.
“Our teams will also have access to additional training, not just in the new systems and imaging network but also new specialties in the form of masterclasses and course run by EMRAD. As we move towards a time when digital transformation means that collaborative working across regions becomes seamless, this can only be a positive move for patients and clinicians alike.”
Dr James Thomas, Medical Director of EMRAD said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chesterfield Royal Hospital onto our region-wide image sharing system. It’s fantastic news for patients, especially in the north Midlands, as their medical images and scans will now be instantly available to clinicians across the region. From next week, if a patient from the Chesterfield area needs to be brought to the QMC, their scans and images can arrive in Nottingham before they do, allowing clinicians to get a head start on assessing their condition and planning their care.
“We know that the image sharing portal is already speeding up and improving clinical decision-making, which will improve patient care. It is also helping to avoid delays to patient treatment caused by unnecessary transfers between hospitals, and preventing patients having repeat scans to examine the same issue if transferred to a different hospital trust”