In the UK, a consortium of NHS trusts has signed its second deal this year with imaging technology provider Sectra.
Known as SWASH, the consortium includes Portsmouth Hospitals NHS trust, Isle of Wight NHS trust, Salisbury NHS FT, Southern Health NHS FT and University Hospital Southampton NHS FT.
The aim of the deal is to advance how hospitals share and access diagnostic imaging.
The trusts will move from an existing vendor neutral archive (VNA) to Sectra’s VNA to store imaging for the region.
A new shared multimedia archive will allow the trusts to accelerate plans for initiatives including artificial intelligence.
WHY IT MATTERS
The arrangement will alleviate burdens placed on trusts, freeing up significant resource and equipment from trusts’ computer rooms, for which they have historically been individually responsible.
Sectra will use its cloud to store the new region-wide archive and to host its picture archiving and communication system (PACS). This tool is already used by radiology professionals in the consortium to interrogate diagnostic images.
Earlier in 2020, SWASH signed an eight-year contract with Sectra that enabled PACS to deliver across all of the trusts, removing technical complexity previously required to support a single view of patient imaging across the region.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
In related news, Royal Cornwall NHS trust chose Navenio’s location tech to support radiology, as part of an e-transformation project that will increase efficiency of teams and improve patient experience.
Meanwhile, London North West University Healthcare NHS trust has deployed a communications platform from Healthcare Communications, to replace a manual approach to appointment management.
Also with aims to advance and streamline care services, Alcidion was appointed to the NHSX Clinical Communications Procurement Framework to help the NHS reduce pagers.
ON THE RECORD
Mark Gardner, PACS manager at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS trust, said: “Moving to Sectra’s VNA will be a big win. We will be able to administer, store and make available millions of images, of different types and from different disciplines, from hospitals across our region, all in a single place without the burden of having to manage infrastructure.”
Dr Mark Griffiths, paediatric radiologist and clinical lead for the SWASH consortium, said: “Linking with other regions is an important next step. Our strategy is to improve our visualisation of the whole patient pathway within SWASH and beyond.
“Using a standard for cross-community sharing will help us to better connect with other regional consortia. That will be a game changer – to not just see local imaging, but to understand imaging has occurred for patients who move across borders and services, and to be able to access that imaging myself as a clinician, without needing to ask someone else who might not be in the office at the time.”