Patients to see the benefit of St Luke’s new system

St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny this week unveiled a new medical imaging system, which it says will improve patients’ experiences as well as boost hospital staff efficiency.

St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny this week unveiled a new medical imaging system, which it says will improve patients’ experiences as well as boost hospital staff efficiency.

The filmless sytem – National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) – was rolled out at St Luke’s as well as Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital.

The introduction of NIMIS is touted to bring improvements in efficiency, safety and patient care. St Luke’s and Kilcreene are the latest hospitals to benefit from this system, which the HSE has developed in partnership with healthcare IT solutions provider McKesson.

NIMIS, which is now being used in 16 hospitals nationwide, will make Ireland’s radiological services ‘filmless’, and enable secure and rapid movement of patient image data throughout the health service. This new imaging system allows doctors to electronically view their patients’ diagnostic images, such as X-Rays and CT Scans, quickly and easily.

Anna Marie Lanigan, the HSE area manager for Carlow-Kilkenny, said that the ability of health professionals to share patient imaging data would reduce the loss of medical images and ensure that patients’ information is available rapidly.

“All of a patient’s prior X-Ray reports and current images will be available electronically in the radiology department, out-patient clinics, hospital wards, theatres and results can be quickly sent back to the patient’s GP if required,” she said.

“Requests for diagnostic tests will be placed electronically, so that clinical information will be available to the Radiographer and Radiologist at the time of the examination. I’m delighted that St Luke’s General Hospital has now moved to a ‘filmless’ system, where all images are captured, stored and examined using computers rather than printed film.”

The general manager of St Luke’s, Anne Slattery, said that radiology staff and the entire hospital system would see the benefits, from fewer repeat exams and faster turnaround for reports, to improved clinical consultation and remote referrals of patients with controlled and audited access.

“It’s an important step towards ensuring the highest patient safety standards across a modern and complex healthcare system,” she said.

“The ease of access to patient records within a rapid timeframe by the appropriate clinicians throughout the healthcare system, even if based in different sites, will contribute significantly to the patient experience. I’ve no doubt that over the next year or so, our patients and clients will be able to see real benefits from the extension of NIMIS to their general and orthopaedic hospital.”