Patients being transferred to different hospitals, will also benefit from staff having immediate access to imaging captured at other sites. And specialist sites, for example, the major trauma centre or neurology unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, will be able to review images more easily before patients arrive, in some cases informing decisions on where best to treat a patient.
The programme will support the creation of diagnostic hubs and the development of training facilities. Workforce flexibility, and the ability for healthcare diagnosticians to report on images captured anywhere in the region, will be complemented by home reporting capabilities, which is expected to support recruitment and retention as well as workload balancing across Northern Ireland.
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Jane Rendall, managing director for Sectra in the UK and Ireland, said: “Northern Ireland is an example for the world in integrated diagnostics. NIPACS has already delivered so much, digitising radiology and more recently pathology, and the benefits delivered are about to be extended and accelerated for more healthcare professionals and their patients across the region. This is an extremely exciting project for Sectra to support.”
About Business Services Organisation (BSO)
The Business Services Organisation was established to provide a broad range of regional business support functions and specialist professional services to the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland. Part of his business support includes the management of Health and Social Care Programmes and Projects such as NIPACS and Digital Pathology – Link: https://hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/pathologyni.htm
Northern Ireland has six HSC Trusts, five of which produce imaging: the Belfast, South Eastern, Western, Southern and Northern Trusts. These Trusts provide a wide range of integrated health and social care services for a population of 1.8 million covering a geographical area of 14,000km2 Imaging Services are vital in the provision of modern healthcare in Northern Ireland. There are more than 1.75 million radiology examinations carried out by HSCNI annually.
The original Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communications System (NIPACS) contract was awarded to Sectra UK Ltd in 2008 covering 28 out of the 30 hospital sites in Northern Ireland. This solution includes a RIS, PACS and VNA. It currently stores and provides access on a single platform to the following speciality types: radiology, dental, breast screening, obstetrics, limited cardiology, and medical photography.