Sunday, March 19, 2006

X-Ray Of Hope- IT in our hospitals

ClickRich took a spill yesterday and ended up in hospital with a suspected broken foot. It turns out to be just bruising and I'm a big wuss, but whilst sat in A&E for some TLC it was hard to see where all this money was going in the NHS. The receptionist clearly had no access to my records through the computer. Despite a promising LED sign, there was no information on how long I should expect to wait. In fact, the LED was telling us nothing that the posters and signs weren't- "No Smoking", "No Phones" and "Welcome to our Hospital". The A&E nurse took all my details down on paper from scratch (no doubt someone will need to copy that into a system later). What a waste.

But then, on arrival at the X-Ray department I saw something promising. With a new system they are evidently very proud of called Photographic Archive and Communication System (PACS) the hospital is able to capture the image digitally so that other departments (in my case A&E) can look it up on a high resolution monitor before the patient has hobbled back to the ward. The viewing software has facilities to make use of the high image quality (zoom, pan, artificial colour etc), hence making more effective diagnoses, and making the whole end-to-end process more efficient. On talking to the Emergency Practice Nurse, it would seem that they use an Orthopaedic dept in a different trust. Nowadays, the "Orthopods" can just access the images at the press of a few buttons. Referrals like that used to take days- at least.

Anyway, back to the rest, ice, compression and elevation for me.

Tags: , , ,

No comments: