Patients to benefit from technology upgrade
Patients will benefit from faster, more efficient clinics following the completion of a major software upgrade which is giving doctors and nurses at West Suffolk Hospital instant access to better quality x-rays and scans.
The new PACS (picture and communication system) software was installed in the diagnostic imaging department as part of a breast imaging upgrade earlier this year, and is now been rolled out across the rest of the hospital. West Suffolk was the first hospital in the UK to introduce the software, which is the most up-to-date currently available.
The new system will benefit patients by speeding up clinics, as it will give consultants instant access to any x-ray, scan or ultrasound. Previously, they would have needed to manually look up images dating back more than four months.
The images available will also be much clearer and of a higher quality than the previous system.
In addition, upgrading the software will help the hospital save £30,000 a year which would otherwise be spent on computer discs to store images, as well as chemicals and other materials needed to develop hard copies.
“This new software will ensure our clinicians have instant access to all of the information they need, in turn speeding up clinics for the benefit of patients,” said Ann Foulger, PACS admin manager at the hospital.
“This is especially beneficial when comparing older images. Previously we would need to manually look up anything dating back more than four months, whereas now it’s all available at the click of a button. Images accessed through the new system are also much clearer, making it easier for clinicians to track any changes and follow them up where necessary.
“We are pleased to be the first hospital in the country to use this new technology. The fact that the new system is also helping us to save money is an added bonus.”