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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.

September 6, 2006

X-Ray Films Become a Part of History

Traditional x-rays have been relegated to the annals of history at Grey Base Hospital.The hospitalís radiology service has now gone film-less making it one of the most up to date in the country.

Previously the Radiology Department had been sending suitcases filled with x-rays to Canterbury via couriers, but now a patientís file can be sent to a specialist in another part of the country with a press of a button.

"For us and the patients itís so much better," Charge Radiographer Jason Lister said.

Mr Lister said while it didnít happen often x-rays would occasionally go missing while in transit, but the new system meant all images would be transferred electronically effectively eliminating the possibility of them going missing.

The West Coast DHB has been heading towards becoming film-less since April when the Patient Archiving and Communications System (PACS) was fully installed.

The PACS system allows doctors viewing the digital images to magnify and adjust pictures giving them a better diagnostic tool than a standard x-ray.

The new system also means that technicians at Grey Base will no longer be exposed to chemicals used in developing x-rays. Patients seeing private specialist or private health professionals may occasionally need to have films printed off or put on a CD and the x-ray dept will still provide this on request.

The DHB is now considering upgrading the Buller x-ray department to being digital and giving Buller hospital access to the PACS system.

Chief Information Officer, Wayne Champion (who is also the Boardís Chief Financial Officer) said it was great that the DHB is starting to realise some of the benefits from its recent investment in information technology.

The move to film less radiology will save the DHB about $50,000 per annum in film printing costs (after adjusting for the cost of running the PACS system).

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

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