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Film x-ray replaced w digital image at Waikato DHB

Media information
For immediate release

5 November 2009

Film x-rays replaced with digital images at Waikato DHB

A new system that replaces film x-rays with digital images is live at
Waikato, Thames, Tokoroa, Taumarunui and Te Kuiti hospitals.

The Picture Archive Communication System (PACS) allows hospital staff
to view images and results from x-ray, CT, ultrasound, MRI, nuclear
medicine, fluoroscopy and angiography instantly on their computer

Images are magnified, rotated, enhanced and printed for a better view.

Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams said it is an exciting
time for the five hospitals.

"PACS will make us much more efficient and as a result, will improve
the service we provide to our patients.

"Instant access to images and the ability to enhance them means a
quicker and more accurate diagnosis," she said.

PACS allows clinicians from across the five hospitals to view results.

Waikato also joined forces with Bay of Plenty DHB to implement the same
system across the two regions.

This means clinicians from Health Waikato hospitals, Tauranga and
Whakatane hospitals and Opotiki Medical Centre have access to the same
system to view the same results.

"Before PACS there was only ever one copy of a result, so only one
person could view it and others had to travel to get to it or wait for
it to come by mail," Mrs Adams said.

Now staff log-in and view the same image, at the same time, from any
hospital computer.

Because of this, the new system promises to reduce the number of
patient transfers between hospitals.

"PACS provides staff from different hospitals with the ability to
view the results on their computer and assess the patient before he or
she is transferred," Mrs Adams said.

Many DHBs already use PACS but Waikato and Bay of Plenty are the first
to implement the system together.

One team worked across the two regions to ensure a smooth
implementation at all sites.

"PACS went live over there in August and staff praised the system for
being so much better than they anticipated and they are incredibly
pleased with it..

"It has saved them time, saved them from several trips to different
departments and ultimately made huge improvements to the way they work
each day.

"PACS makes it all much easier and we're all very excited that it
has finally arrived in the Waikato," Mrs Adams said.

Last month, Waikato DHB launched a new radiology information system to
work alongside PACS.

More than 1000 Waikato DHB staff completed training for the new systems
and the project team are providing ongoing support during the transition


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