Kodak Health Imaging has announced that it has successfully installed an end-to-end digital image management solution, comprising capture, print, distribution, storage and service solutions in just 11 weeks.

In February Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust awarded Kodak a contract to install an integrated image and information management solution at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and satellite departments throughout North Derbyshire.

The new DirectView System 5 PACS system was rolled out in Accident and Emergency (A&E), orthopaedics and the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) in mid-March 2004. The whole trust is expected to be linked to the system by May 2004.

The trust had decided to digitise the capture and storage of its radiology images, but found that its radiology, IT and clinical departments each had different digital imaging requirements. To address the varying requirements the Trust chose Kodak Health Imaging to provide an integrated image management solution for Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the satellite departments throughout North Derbyshire.

The Picture Archiving, Communications and Storage (PACS) system provided is designed to fully synchronise with the trust’s existing Patient Administration System and the Radiology Information System (RIS) in line with the Trust’s aim of developing integrated electronic patient records. 

Before the Kodak installation, the radiology department had been using conventional X-ray film with daylight loaders, but wanted to make improvements. "With a conventional film system, there is the risk of films going missing," said Gary Ferguson, radiographer and key operator trainer at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. “We carry out 120,000 radiology examinations every year so we also had a huge physical film store, and archiving was becoming a problem.”

“We were receiving requests for a digital image capture and distribution system from across the hospital. Naturally, our imaging department was keen for PACS to be installed, but the demand from clinical staff on the wards, as well as from consultants, was very high,” said Paul Hetherington, head of health informatics at the trust.

“In the end, the decision to install a PACS boiled down to four factors – its value as a diagnostic tool and the improved quality of image it offers, the clinical benefit it would provide across several hospital departments, economic benefits, and the clear link to the modernisation agenda.”

Chesterfield is first hospital in the UK to use Kodak’s new web-enabled DirectView System 5 PACS system, which Kodak says provides fast and efficient universal access to diagnostic images and reports.  Archive capability will initially be handled by 2.2TB of storage, representing around 18 months of on-line storage with a view to future expansion as necessary. 

The new PACS system acquires images via a number of Kodak DirectView computed radiography systems and together with images from a range of modalities including Computed Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine, distribute them to all areas of the Trust including wards, clinics, A&E, the trust’s EMU and nine strategically placed workstations for soft copy reporting.

“Moving to digital was a big step for us, and we needed to ensure that our supplier was a trusted partner, with a thorough understanding of our IT and radiology needs. The solution provided by Kodak met all our criteria,” explained Hetherington. “The Kodak team was on site for 12 weeks during the planning and implementation stages of the project, to ensure that everything was running smoothly and to troubleshoot any problems on the spot.”

According to Ferguson the new Kodak PACS system is already delivering benefits. “The beauty of the PACS system is that images will be available to consultants on the ward within seconds of sending them to archive, which is sure to decrease treatment times and ultimately, increase patient satisfaction.”

Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital NHS Trust has 657 beds and provides the acute inpatient care for Chesterfield and surrounding rural area of North Derbyshire, serving a population of approximately 360,000 people.