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QEH’s teleradiology stays

rhondathompson, [email protected]

QEH’s teleradiology stays

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HAPPY with the success of a pilot project that started last year, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) seems set to have teleradiology as a major fixture.
Chief executive officer Dr Dexter James told reporters yesterday that the hospital was looking to build on the project which ran from October 2010 to last month with assistance from telecommunications service provider LIME.
The QEH is to “take the necessary steps for expansion” of the project, based on its review of the findings of an independent study on the hospital’s readiness to embark on teleradiology as “a platform for improving access to diagnostic reporting”, James said during a morning briefing at the institution.
Teleradiology is concerned with the transmission of digitized medical images, such as X-rays, CAT scans and ultrasounds, over electronic networks and with the interpretation of the transmitted images for diagnostic purposes James said it represented part of a broad thrust the institution wanted to make into the world of telemedicine.
The system gives the medical fraternity the opportunity to view images from locations outside the QEH, including homes, make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment regime.
Head of radiology at the hospital, Dr Peter Jolly, told reporters the system was a time-saver because medical personnel did not have to wait until the next morning or drive to the QEH to access the images.
The QEH’s director of engineering Pamela Yarde said the Accident & Emergency Department and the clinics in the Enmore medical complex near the hospital were linked to the system.
Through the system, there will be better patient care “in terms of a quicker diagnosis and obviously faster turnaround for patients”, she reported.
James said the QEH was looking to strengthen its information technology  platform.
He spoke of the possibility of the institution using personal digital assistants, mobile phones and “stand-alone computers” to access images, thereby reducing the cost of having to print them.
He estimated that the QEH would save “in excess of $350 000” if it was able to “develop this technology and make it a part of our routine operations now and in the future”. (TY)