Scotland’s NHS works to clear breast screening backlog with assistance from Philips’ PACS

Royal Philips and NHS National Services Scotland have revealed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Scottish Breast Screening Programme (SBSP) and the measures taken to deal with the backlog of appointments. Philips’ vendor-neutral Vue PACS allows the programme’s six breast screening centres and its mobile screening units to interoperate with Scotland’s national PACS, increasing access to breast screening for rural communities, enhancing patient choice and streamlining workflows.

Through the partnership, as many as 270,000 women in Scotland aged between 50 and 70 are invited for breast screening every year. However, according to Public Health Scotland, between April and December 2020 during the height of the pandemic, there was a 19 per cent fall in the number of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. This was largely attributed to the SBSP being paused between March 30 and August 3, 2020, creating a backlog of appointments, diagnoses and treatments.

Vue PACS is a modular image management solution that provides hospitals and related institutions with scalable PACS functionalities. Its interoperability has helped in reducing the backlog, offering enhanced connectivity between the screening programme’s regional screening centres, as well as interoperability with Scotland’s global PACS.

“The national reporting function enabled by the global PACS allows centres to report and support each other. For instance, in the case of absences from sickness among readers, cases for reporting can rapidly pile up,” said clinical director of North East Scotland Breast Screening Programme Dr Gerald Lip.

Picture: Philips’ Vue PACS enables screening centres and mobile units to interoperate with Scotland’s national PACS.

Published on page 8 of the May 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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