New ‘Filmless' Imaging System Will Put Information at Doctors' Fingertips
Tuesday February 23, 2010
Beaumont Hospital has been selected for the first phase of a new project to make Ireland's radiological services ‘filmless' and enable secure and rapid movement of patient image data throughout the health service. The HSE announced details of the €40 million National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) project on 23rd February last. NIMIS will introduce a technology called Picture Archive and Communication Systems and Radiology Information Systems (otherwise known as PACS/RIS) to 35 hospitals over the next three years.
This new imaging system will allow doctors to view their patients' diagnostic images, such as X-Rays and CT Scans, quickly and easily on screen. The rapid access and availability of patients' records to health professionals will represent a significant step forward in patient safety, ensuring that the patient's information is available rapidly where and when it is needed, at every stage of a patient's journey.
All of a patient's prior and current images will be available electronically in the radiology department, out-patient clinics and hospital wards and it will be possible for results to be sent back quickly to the patient's GP if required. Requests for diagnostic tests will be placed electronically and relevant clinical information will be available to the radiographer and radiologist at the time of the examination.
The need for a ‘filmless' medical imaging system has been recognised in a number of studies and reports and by the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, which identified information management and ICT as a key element in effective healthcare governance. Other hospitals to be included in the first phase of the project are Sligo General, St. Luke's Hospital in Dublin and Dooradoyle in Limerick.