Patients at Northampton General Hospital (NGH) will have the chance to benefit from faster turnaround times on x-ray tests as a new computer system is introduced to deliver scans to doctors in other parts of the hospital.
The new system, which will be rolled out over the next 12 months, means that doctors will be able to see diagnostic images for patients almost as soonn as they are produced.
With the system being introduced across seven East Midlands hospitals, it will also mean that doctos can call in specialist opinions on the images from colleagues at other sites.
Until now, images could be difficult to transfer digitally or, in some cases, even mean that CD-ROMs had to be physically moved from hospital to hospital.
The seven NHS trusts in the consortium - called EMRAD - are Northampton General Hospital, Kettering General Hospital, Nottingham University Hospitals, Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Sherwood Forest Hospitals and United Lincolnshire Hospitals. They will be all be sharing the cost of the new system between them.
The trusts are set to sign a deal with GE Healthcare to supply a cloud-based system which allows doctors to view and discuss images ‘live’, without needing significant new software installed on their networks.
Dr Richard Jones, consultant radiologist at NGH, worked as part of the EMRAD clinical team to ensure NGH selected the best system clinically and said he is positive about the benefits the new system will provide.
He said: “Radiology systems have developed hugely in recent years.
“The ability to review radiology images and reports is now a crucial part of many clinical pathways, and increasingly, these pathways involve multiple hospital locations, 24/7.”
Christina Malcolmson, NGH deputy director of ICT, said: “This is a really exciting project for the future of radiology here at Northampton General. “Through joining with our colleagues in trusts across the East Midlands, we feel we have achieved the best possible outcome for our patients and we are now looking forward to getting the new system up and running as soon as possible.”