The long, frustrating wait for results and appointments in the Radiology Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital will soon be history.
Senior Radiographer, Venice Gill, announced at a media conference at the QEH today, that the department was going fully digital, by introducing a $300,000 RIS system or Radiology Information System, as early as the 12th of next month.
Gill said the RIS would replace the old, time-consuming use of film and chemicals, which cost the hospital approximately $1.4 million per year.
She explained that the RIS, which is a data collection and distribution system that tracks patient information specifically relevant to radiology, would be integrated with the partially-operational PACS, a picture archiving and communication system.
The hospital management official noted that once the RIS was in place, it would allow the PACS to fully function. She revealed that the turn around time for X-ray results would now be reduced from the current average of two weeks, to three days and the setting of appointments upwards of three months down the road, would be cut in half.
“What are the benefits of the RIS/PACS integration? Well, when you enter information into the system, that’s it, you enter it correctly. Now, before, where you entered it into every machine, every modality, then there was always the risk of entering an incorrect ID. That will now be decreased because as long as you are entered in the hospital system or the radiology system, that data will be automatically transfered to whatever machine you are going to have your examination done there,” she pointed out.
Gill said the data in PACS would be tagged with a National Registration number, so that if there were two John Browns, it would not be a problem. She said it would also be improved work flow patterns, cut the management of the system by about 70 per cent, while the other 30 per cent accounting for the need to maintain it.
Other benefits include increased productivity due to better utilisation of the radiology services, X-ray images could be integrated with the radiology report and with other patient information systems.
Gill stated that there would also be improved service to patients and referring doctors by decreasing the turn around time. The senior radiographer said too, that the old film, which by law, had to be kept for seven years before disposal, would be bought by an American company, which wanted the silver contained in it.
She announced that the seven years were now up, and next year, the hospital would start selling the film a year at a time. (EJ)