Northern Health speeds up radiology
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – A solution
developed collaboratively by Northern Health and Agfa HealthCare means
results from X-rays, ultrasounds, and other scans could be available to
family doctors and their patients up to three times faster.
“This is an exciting opportunity to utilize technology as a way to
improve patient care,” said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond.
“By being able to directly attach this information to a patient’s
electronic health record it means a more efficient and expedited process
and results that are shared immediately with physicians.”
“When people are getting health tests done, it is vital to know the
results as quickly as possible,” said Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Pat
Bell. “By identifying health risks sooner, patients and their doctors
will be able to react much quicker in ensuring appropriate treatments.”
“Currently, results take five to six days; with this new system, it
could be one to two days,” said Dr. Bill Clifford, Northern Health’s
Director of Clinical Informatics. “It’s a really slick system that makes
it all seamless, reduces the potential for errors, and streamlines
The new system takes the image a radiologist is interpreting and
automatically links it to the patient’s electronic record. “All the
radiologist has to do is click the ‘record’ button on his dictation
device. It’s a one-click solution,” said Dr. Clifford. The system does
the rest – it knows that the dictation applies to that image, and links
them together. The dictation is then sent to the medical
transcriptionist already tagged with the correct patient and
“This has completely revolutionized the way radiologists work,” said
Mary Lund, Health Link North Project Manager.
Previously, radiologists had to look up and record a patient ID number
before dictating their findings. Likewise, medical transcriptionists had
to manually search for and input the correct radiologist before typing
in the dictation.
“I might report on 200 films a day, and with this new system our work
efficiency has increased dramatically. It allows us to get reports out
the same day, and the system is now fully integrated as well in terms of
patient files and charts,” said Dr. Larry Breckon. “For us it’s been a
tremendous boon – it’s like night and day.”
As well as improving reliability and accuracy, results are instantly
available to all physicians with Northern Health. The system is
currently running in Prince George, and will be expanded across the
Northern Health region. Planning for the expansion rollout will start in
Posted July 30/09.