£10 million digital technology revolutionises x-rays

A hi-tech imaging system has done away with the need for old-fashioned X-ray film and improved life for patients and clinical staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The £10 million Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) is the biggest and most comprehensive to be found in the UK and ends frustrating waits for x-ray films and reports.

The system, leased from GE for a 10 year period, means a patient's x-ray is taken and within seconds is stored digitally and available to clinicians on any one of hundreds of computer terminals in any part of the trust's hospital sites.

Consultant radiologist Dr John Pilling said; “The great benefit of this system is that a doctor in his office can be looking at a patient's x-ray before the patient has even made their way back from the x-ray department.

“This system includes all radiology images, including CT and MRI scanner images, and allows clinicians to see the image much more quickly and easily and to even zoom in or around the area they need to look at.”

The PACS digital x-ray images are available within 10 to 20 seconds, compared with the 60-90 seconds it took to develop an x-ray on film, plus the time it took for the film to reach the clinician.

Radiographer Adam Hughes said: “The PACS system makes things a lot quicker for us and for the patients and we get the benefit of being able to see all our images straightaway.

“One of the biggest improvements from our point of view is that we can adjust our images electronically to improve them and that reduces the potential for patients to require more x-rays.”

Friday 12th of April 2002 03:00:05 AM