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Leeds hospital adopts new imaging software

A new system that allows clinicians to to seamlessly store and share radiological images has been implemented at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trusts (LTHT).

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The software will open up new opportunities for collaboration between clinicians

Agfa HealthCare’s Enterprise Imaging (EI) solution is expected to help streamline the clinical pathway for reporting radiology images, allowing professionals to access these from any part of the hospital or at home.

Demand for new simplified solutions to allow collaboration across the NHS has drastically increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those at LTHT will also be using the tool to collaborate with eight neighbouring trusts that have a patient population of three million, particularly those part of the Yorkshire Imaging Collaborative (YIC).

Set up in 2016 YIC was a direct response to the falling numbers of radiologists, raising concerns about the pressure placed on those in this line of work.

Statistics from the Royal College of Radiologists have shown that there will be a national shortfall of 43 per cent of radiologists by 2024, with Agfa’s system hoping to improve these numbers.

The eight trusts will also benefit from the firm’s XERO Exchange Network (XEN) which allows images and reports to be shared across the region at any time, while promoting further collaboration between clinicians, patients and healthcare providers.

Paul Jones, chief digital information officer at LTHT, said: “Leeds is one of the largest Trusts in the UK, providing care to over 1.5 million patients every year, many of whom have complex and urgent needs.

“Upgrading a major system like EI had to be very carefully planned to minimise any downtime since we’re dealing with several thousand examinations per day.

“EI has provided a much more stable infrastructure. We immediately noticed the productivity and efficiency savings made by having fully-integrated image viewing and reporting on a single platform with a modern interface.”

Agfa’s EI system will replace the company’s IMPAX solution, which had been in operation at LTHT since 2003.

The transition to the new system involves training over 200 staff, involving Agfa-led remote training, e-learning courses and guidance documentation, hosted on Health Education England’s Digital Learning Solutions platform.

As well as this 9.5 million studies needed to be moved to the new platform.

A number of NHS Trusts have been reevaluating their current systems since the start of the pandemic, such as Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which has rolled out new remote imaging technology after successful trials.

The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust also became the first in Greater Manchester to adopt a new diagnostic imaging system from technology firm Sectra.

Roberto Anello, Agfa HealthCare managing director UK and Ireland, said: “Implementing the technology during the COVID-19 pandemic has had its challenges, but thankfully, through the commitment and effort of everyone involved, the project has been an overwhelming success.

“Leeds Hospitals is a prestigious teaching Trust with an extensive range of radiology requirements, so we’re very proud to have helped them achieve their digital ambitions for image sharing. It’s also fantastic to be one step closer to finalising the go-live plans across the YIC.”

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