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

 
Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online

  • Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

    “Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>

    ALSO:

    Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

    Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>

    ALSO:

    Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

    Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>

    ALSO:

    Scoop Review Of Books: Excerpt - Ice Bear: The Cultural History Of An Arctic Icon

    “During the last decade the image of the polar bear has moved in the public imagination from being an icon of strength, independence and survival in one of the most climatically extreme of world environments, to that of fragility, vulnerability and more generally of a global environmental crisis.” More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news