Helse Nord

Gathering multiple hospitals’ digital media in a shared archive

Helse Nord’s digital multimedia archive is now ready for use by hospitals in Northern Norway. The health region’s radiology archive from Sectra has been upgraded and expanded in order to store digital images and multimedia, including skin images and ultrasound, from departments and areas outside of radiology.

Thanks to the new regional archive, the hospitals will now have a much better structure for collection, storage and reuse of media.

Terje Hellemo, Regional Project Manager of the Helse Nord FRESK program

Digital images and multimedia are increasingly being used for diagnostics, documentation and treatment of patients. The IT systems to handle this in Northern Norway’s hospitals were previously established locally in the various clinics. It was often the case that only those working daily in the systems were able to benefit from the digital information that had been collected.

Safer for the patient

“Thanks to the new regional archive, the hospitals will now have a much better structure for collection, storage and reuse of media,” says Terje Hellemo, Regional Project Manager of the Helse Nord FRESK program. “This was previously handled using multiple IT systems with varying degrees of access management, and with access restricted based on department, role category or health enterprise. By gathering the media in a joint digital archive, everything will be included in the health region’s shared patient record with easier access for those treating the patient—regardless of where the exam has been conducted. This will lead to higher efficiency and quality, while increasing patient safety.”


TWO IMAGES, SAME INJURY. “A shared archive makes it easier to store and compare different digital images when treating patients,” says Project Manager Terje Hellemo (Helse Nord FRESK) and Rune Grov Eilertsen (Management Center for Radiology).


Silje Pedersen (radiology department at UNN) and Markus Grimsøen (Helse Nord IT department) during the acceptance test of the regional solution in May 2019.

From trial to introduction

Up until February 2020, the archive was tested by the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) and Nordland Hospital (Nordlandssykehuset), and a survey conducted in the pilot departments shows a clear access improvement to archived examinations. The next step in the project is to introduce the system across the region.

The project represents the contribution of Northern Norway toward achieving the “One citizen—one journal” vision as established by the Norwegian government. The roll-out will depend on the resources and expertise of the Management Center for Radiology, Helse Nord’s IT department, and the hospitals’ medical-technical departments. It will be carried out on a department-by-department basis as and when these have the capacity to change their routines.

Tasks during the introduction phase

During the implementation phase, the project will ensure that the regional archive is used for the collection and storage of examinations at all units where appropriate. The introduction of the digital media archive at the hospitals in Northern Norway will include the following activities:

  • Establishment of a roll-out team
  • Establishment of a team to further develop the solution, where needed
  • Introducing the solution to hospital units that can start using it without making any major changes
  • Adaptation and integration of the solution with surrounding specialist IT systems
  • Clarification of how video is to be stored in the region, and the establishment of integrations and systems for storage of video in the media archive

“The introduction phase of the project is estimated to extend over 2.5 years, from August 2020 to the end of 2022. However, the timetable depends on developments in relation to the coronavirus pandemic,” says Terje Hellemo. He concludes:

“It is great that we have now received formal approval to be able to use the regional solution. Now, many pieces will combine into a larger puzzle to ensure that the digital media archive is used where appropriate.”


This article was originally published in Norwegian on Helse Nord’s website, June 10, 2020. Author: Solfrid Kallbekken, Helse Nord FRESK.

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