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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

April 6, 2006

PACS Goes Live

The West Coast District Health Board is now at the forefront of radiology technology after its PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) went live yesterday.

The $800,000 system means that x-rays and CT scans will now be almost completely digital and that images can be accessed at the touch of a button.

Chief Financial Manager Wayne Champion who also heads the ISG department said PACS meant the West Coast was now up to date with the very latest technology.

"The new system allows for a faster and better service for both staff and patients."

For patients one of the biggest changes they will notice is there will no longer be films of their injuries printed. This means that hospital staff will no longer be handling dangerous film processing chemicals and that the DHB will save on processing costs.

Clinicians will be able to access images taken in the past and compare them to current images, allowing them to review changes in a patient's condition over time. This has important implications for everyone from arthritis suffers to cancer patients.

Charge Radiographer, Jason Lister commented that, "PACS images are more useful for the doctors viewing them as the image can be magnified and the brightness and contrast manipulated to enhance the doctors ability to see and identify what the patients problem is."

PACS images will be available at multiple locations simultaneously, which allows doctors to seek the opinions from one-anther and to compare notes, even over vast geographic distances.

For patients the system means that, should they be transferred to another facility, their x-rays and scans will have already been sent to the hospital receiving them. This allows clinicians to plan for their treatment before the person arrives.

The PACS system is the second of three major ISG infrastructure upgrades being undertaken by the West Coast DHB.

The first one (PRISM - Primary Integration Systems Management) extended the West Coast DHB's Wide Area network to cover all but one of its remote health clinics and centralised primary health information onto one shared database system. PrISM was completed in October 2005.

The third one (the PAS /CIS - Patient Administration and Clinical Information System) will upgrade the West Coast DHBs hospital based patient administration system and integrate data from a number of other systems into a single clinical view. The PAS/CIS project is well under way, with the first part of the project due to go live in July.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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