News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Remote access a life saver


Media Release

Date: 15 November, 2012

Remote access a life saver

Sabaratnam Muthukumaraswamy has been looking at x-rays and scans and giving advice on what action to take for more than 30 years at Waikato Hospital. But recently implemented technology means he can now do it remotely – saving time and lives.

The Picture Archive Communication System (PACS) and its associated Radiology Information System (RIS) are now widely used at the hospital and Midlands region.
Known as Dr Muthu, the clinical director of radiology says the remote viewing of images, which began three months ago, is one of the biggest leaps forward in his time.

“All my colleagues and I had been looking forward to this for a while. It’s made a big difference to our lives and the lives of patients.”

Dr Muthu can now look at images from home and deliver advice, and the 20 minutes saved by not having to come into the hospital can be vital to patients in a critical situation.

Just recently Dr Muthu was asked to look at images from Hawke’s Bay where a man with a contained ruptured aorta was in a bad way and unable to get into Wellington Hospital. “I looked at the pictures, got the patient here, and we fixed him up. He would have died for certain.’’

Often it is his call on surgery and that decision is made on what can be seen. “I have to say yes we can fix it, or no.’’

Saving 20 minutes by viewing remotely from home is “a great help”.

“It’s a time-saver and a life-saver. We are 20 minutes ahead of time if we see it at home and can start getting the [surgical] team assembled for a bleeder or other life-critical situation.”

Time is also saved as reports can also be acknowledged remotely, changing the “report pending” status from a day or days to hours. “That just speeds up the whole process.”

Hamilton orthopaedic surgeon Neville Strick is another who sees great benefits in being able to bring up images “on the fly”.

There are obvious advantages for his patients now he can view scans wherever he is – at his private practice, at Southern Cross Hospital, at home or “when I’m out and about”.

“It’s all about convenience and time,” he says, adding patients get a better management plan as a result.

Another benefit for patients is less radiation as less repeats are needed. Mr Strick can press ahead with an operation without the need for a new scan because he has access to the latest image archived in the Midlands system. That has the potential to cut radiology waiting lists.


The Waikato DHB roll-out of PACS includes all clinics which have moved into the new Meade Clinical Centre, and is part of the “paperlite” philosophy

PACS, implemented two years ago, gives healthcare providers instant access to diagnostic images and results as the images go into a central database. It’s a regional system, with Bay of Plenty and Tairawhiti (Gisborne) joining with Waikato DHB to improve information sharing for the benefit of patients.

PACS was recently ramped up, two years after its start, to allow remote access to the archive from PCs and tablet devices.

For PACS project manager Shelley Baker and business analysis and technology driver Jonathan Hall, their work is coming to an end with the handover to Waikato Hospital’s Information Services. They have lived and breathed PACS, its archive extension, and various specific clinical applications.

“It’s been great to implement a system which has far-reaching benefits for both the patients and the clinicians,” Jonathan and Shelley said.

“For a project that covered such a wide variety of stakeholders and involved so many different processes, technologies and specialties, the buy-in and enthusiasm from the stakeholders have been key factors in ensuring the project’s success.”

Hospital group manager Mark Spittal agreed: “The extended PACS project has been an outstanding piece of work. It is now delivering real benefits for our clinicians and patients every day.

“The project was delivered on time, well under budget, and with genuinely high levels of engagement from a broad range of clinical and technical staff. Its success is a huge credit to everyone involved.”

ENDS

Check out our media releases on www.waikatodhb.health.nz/news or

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 372,865 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $1.2 billion and employs more than 6000 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB’s main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of more than $701 million and 5238 staff. It has six groups across five hospital sites, three primary birthing units, two continuing care facilities and 20 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

A wide range of independent providers deliver other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

Theatre: The F Word: Sex Without The 'ism'

Sex without the 'ism' Okay, so the sexes are equal in the eyes of the law. What the F happens now? More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Don’t Eat The Fish

On 'The Catch' by Michael Field What the ecologically edible lists don’t appear to take into account – and they should – is slavery... It’s not an easy read, but it’s definitely near the top of my listicle of “5 Political Books You Must Read This Year”. More>>

ALSO:

Caracals: Small Cats With Big Ears Arrive At Wellington Zoo

Visitors to Wellington Zoo will be able to see New Zealand’s first Caracals in the Zoo’s new Grassland Cats habitat, with a special visitor opening day on Saturday 27 September. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Classics - Tales From Moominvalley
Can’t speak for the reading end of it but the Moomins ( or maybe the story about Margaret Wise Brown) were the most enjoyable subject to think about and write about during these whole first 50 issues of Werewolf. For that reason – and because the Moomins always reward re-reading – I’ve decided to reprint it. The only added element is a link to an interesting hour long documentary about Tove Jansson. More>>

ALSO:

Repping In The Pacific: All Blacks And Manu Samoa To Play Historic Apia Test

The All Blacks will play Manu Samoa in Apia on Wednesday 8 July next year as part of both teams’ preparations for Rugby World Cup 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news