Kent consortium to modernise patient diagnostics with Sectra PACS

The Kent and Medway Medical Imaging Consortium has procured a medical imaging system from Sectra to support faster diagnosis and earlier treatment, and to increase capacity to meet growing demand.

Radiologists and other clinicians at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and Medway NHS Foundation Trust will be able to easily access images such as x-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound regardless of where in the consortium a patient was imaged.

The PACS will be implemented by Sectra, alongside its VNA. Initially focused on radiology and medical photography, the system also supports enterprise imaging, providing the potential to expand the programme to other diagnostic disciplines in future, for example digital pathology. Timely and more informed diagnoses and clinical decisions are expected for patients due to improved imaging access, and trusts across the region will be able to pool resources and balance the workload of radiologists and specialists.

Programme lead for the consortium and radiology transformation programme manager for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust Sue Lang said: “The new system will make important diagnostic images instantly available across our trusts to diagnostic reporters and people delivering care. It will also support improved access to imaging across large parts of the south-east of England, where many other hospitals also use the Sectra PACS.

“Patients can expect their imaging to follow their care journey, whether that is within our consortium or beyond. For example, cancer patients often move to specialist centres, and others are referred to London hospitals as part of a trauma network and then come back to us, so it is key that we can easily share and access imaging.”

The consortium is planning to support the flow of images with new community diagnostics centres and with GPs in Kent, in response to the government’s initiative to bring diagnostics closer to patients and tackle the elective backlog.

The programme will reduce the need for staff to log in and out of different radiology systems. Third-party visualisation tools, for example, will open and close in patient context in the PACS, and PACS-based reporting, integrated into the consortium’s RIS, will reduce the need for radiologists to manually access the RIS. The system will also integrate into the Kent and Medway Breast Screening Service PACS provided by Sectra.

Picture: Trusts across the region will be able to pool resources to balance the workload of radiologists and specialists.

Published on page 21 of the June 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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