Betsi Cadwaladar University Health Board has gone live with the new Fujifilm picture archiving and communications system that is due to be implemented across Wales.
The seven-year contract signed with Fujifilm will provide a single service that allows digital x-rays, scans and images to be transferred quickly and easily between NHS hospitals.
Previously, NHS Wales had 13 different PACS contracts in place, but as old contracts expire, all boards will move on to the same service.
The service is now up and running across the west and central regions and since going live, more than 30 terabytes of data have been migrated including 1m patient studies and 25m images.
When NHS Wales signed the contract in April this year Dr Keith Griffiths, executive director of therapies and health science at the board and chair of the PACS programme board, said using the same system across Wales would make a big difference.
“This framework agreement with Fujifilm not only modernises the way these images are interpreted and stored, but allows significant financial savings to be made across all the Welsh health boards,” he said.
NHS Wales believes it will achieve savings of up to £15m across the lifetime of the contract.
Some of this is likely to come from efficiency savings generated by the faster availability of digital images, which will no longer need to be transferred between sites using file transfers or CDs.
The next hospital board to launch the Fujifilm system will be the Hywel Dda Health Board. The implementation team, consisting of representatives from both the board and Fujifilm, is currently in the project’s deployment planning phase. The board is expecting to launch the PACS at the beginning of next year.
As well as a new PACS system, Wales will also implement a centralised vendor neutral archive and a remote backup system over the next three years.
The launch of the new PACS system comes at the same time as NHS Wales Informatics Service issued an ambitious information services strategy that focuses on supporting health services in a time of austerity.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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