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NHS trust goes live with new diagnostic imaging initiative

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The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has become the first of eight in Greater Manchester to deploy a diagnostic imaging initiative aimed at transforming how clinical staff examine patients.

A new region-wide approach to analysing x-rays, MRI scans, CT scans, mammography, and an entire range of crucial diagnostic images, has started to become reality following the trust’s agreement with technology firm Sectra.

Known in the NHS as a PACS – or picture archiving and communication system – the imaging solution is used by hospital staff to interrogate patient images digitally.

Staff can now view and report on detailed images remotely, including from their home. In the case of surgical scenarios, 3D orthopaedic tools will allow staff to virtually reconstruct joints prior to procedures.

Elaine Quick, Greater Manchester’s PACS implementation lead, said: “I am really impressed with how teams across the trust have worked with our partner Sectra to get this in place quickly, whilst simultaneously dealing with the challenges presented by COVID-19 and winter pressures in the NHS.

“This first go-live is the start of the main journey. We will be able to maximise how our staff work across different trusts and we will be able to connect 15 years’ worth of rich data currently isolated in individual trusts.”

Once live and rolled out in more hospitals, clinical staff will be able to instantly access patient images captured at any of the participating NHS trusts in the region. This will support healthcare professionals making decisions at the point of care and help staff carrying out reports used to inform diagnoses.

Jane Rendall, managing director UK and Ireland at Sectra, said: “Greater Manchester is delivering fast on its determination to get modern tools and crucial information to the people that need them.

“Diagnostic imaging is a crucial part of patient care. For the millions of people covered by this new programme, the first steps have been taken in an initiative that will transform the way they are diagnosed and treated.”

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