Making diagnoses sooner
“Niagara Health performs about 30,000 CT scans a year, with some scans capturing between 200 and 1,000 images. Having that information and those tools in one place means more efficient diagnoses,” explains Dr. Amit Mehta, Deputy Chief of Diagnostic Imaging, at Niagara Health.
Radiologists are now able to review the most pressing patient cases first thanks to the ability to combine built-in worklist features and the latest AI advancements.
“We try to do everything as quickly as possible but if we get a deluge of studies, it’s hard to know which to do first. The only way to prioritize these until now was by the time of the study,” Dr. Mehta says. “Going forward, this will allow us to prioritize studies that are the most urgent and that prevents any delays in treatment for those patients. Our goal for anyone coming from the Emergency Department is to interpret their images within an hour or less; strokes within 20 minutes. These are the patients who need treatment as soon as possible.”
He and others on the Diagnostic Imaging team will be able to use data provided by the enterprise imaging solution to track whether they achieve those targets and determine other possible service improvements notes Mike Sharma, Director of Diagnostics, at Niagara Health
“The data analytics, which we will be able to mine from the Sectra Enterprise Imaging solution will include our volumes, report turnaround times and many other key performance indicators. This will allow us to monitor our performance and efficiency and to see where improvements can be made,” Sharma says.
Healthcare providers outside Niagara will be able to access patient information quickly and easily because the enterprise imaging solution integrates seamlessly with regional and provincial digital imaging solutions. This will prevent unnecessary duplicate testing that can further delay diagnosis and treatment.
Meanwhile, teams at Niagara Health will be able to use the solution to access images done elsewhere in Ontario from as far back as 2010. They’ll be able to view those archived images within minutes rather than having to wait days like with the previous digital imaging system.
“It was always a struggle to obtain prior examinations to do a comparison,” Dr. Mehta says. “Without these prior studies, it would be hard for the radiologist to know if there were changes in a patient’s condition or if things stabilized.”
The switch to Sectra is part of Niagara Health’s digital strategy, aimed at improving the patient experience. It comes after listening to patient feedback.
“We’re trying to improve quality, patient outcomes, and the patient experience. That’s the driver of this change.”