As a centre of national expertise, it is crucial that BCH is able to send and receive images and their accompanying reports at any given moment. The Trust receives upwards of 50 to 60 cases over IEP every day, of which 50 per cent are typically emergency transfers.
Thanks to Image Exchange Portal (IEP) with its remote reporting features, these sought-after specialists are no longer bound by distance as patient images can be transferred to BCH in minutes. This facility enables staff to provide a crucial second opinion on behalf of other hospitals regardless of their location, recommending appropriate treatment or referral to another hospital most suited to a patient’s condition.
Live image transfers a necessity
Time is of critical importance in the case of acute trauma and other emergency medical conditions meaning BCH relies on IEP to transfer images and any associated reports as quickly as possible.
Speaking of IEP, Kate Parkes, Radiology Clinical Systems Manager at BCH, said: “As a centre of national expertise, it is crucial that BCH is able to send and receive images and their accompanying reports at any given moment. The Trust receives upwards of 50 to 60 cases over IEP every day, of which 50 per cent are typically emergency transfers.”
Any delay in receiving images can severely hinder patient care and the ability for clinicians to provide an effective diagnosis and recommend treatment. This was a common problem for the hospital before implementing IEP, with issues including:
- Disks which failed to arrive along with patients
- Corrupt disks or disks in a proprietary format which could not be opened
- Missing or incomplete patient records, slowing imaging workflow
Now, for the vast majority of cases, this is no longer an issue as incoming images are quickly processed and passed to the relevant specialist. With IEP, clinicians are presented with patient images and the associated patient records at the same time, therefore minimising unnecessary administration. Furthermore, email alerts notify clinicians when a study has finished transferring and is ready to view, enabling them to get on with other tasks.
BCH has significantly reduced the number of ‘unknown’ cases entering its imaging workflow thanks to IEP, saving on time and cost. Additionally IEP also provides BCH with a full audit trail including details of the sending and receiving parties and exactly who has accessed and modified the study.
With close to 100% uptake of IEP across NHS hospitals and an increasing number of independent hospitals, BCH is able to share its expertise and help diagnose patients located virtually anywhere in the UK.