The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust (QEH) is an acute hospital serving a population of nearly 300,000 across the communities of West Norfolk, South Lincolnshire and East Cambridgeshire. It operates from three hospital sites and several community centres, and works in partnership with reputable education centres such as Norwich Medical School, the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the School of Clinical Medicine of the University of Cambridge. The hospital is renowned for the research into prevention of ventilator associated pneumonia, excelling in infection control, and unprecedented arrangements for keeping patients safe – which is especially vital when managing the notable changes required within diagnostic services as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Diagnostic Imaging is one of many specialities which supported the trust’s quality improvement strategy: a ‘digital transformation’ programme, which included the ambition to go ‘paper light’ within its processes. As its existing Radiology Information System (RIS) reached the end of life, the need for a new and upgraded system became a significant priority and QEH seized the opportunity to upgrade its Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS) alongside the RIS to embrace a more digital way of implementing clinical diagnostic services. Essentially, the trust required a PACS that would enable diagnostic imaging to be sent to other healthcare services which were involved in the patient’s care, for review and reporting purposes. Alongside, a replacement RIS would have to provide a digital workflow and be fully integrated with the PACS and the trust’s other clinical systems.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust sought a solution that was high yield in clinical benefits yet low risk with proven successes at other NHS trusts. Having previously supplied the existing IMPAX PACS solution into the trust, Agfa HealthCare was a longstanding partner of the hospital and fitted the reliability criteria with live deployments across the East of England. After a competitive tender process, QEH awarded the contract to Agfa HealthCare for their Enterprise Imaging platform.
Low risk, high success
In 2020, QEH appointed Agfa HealthCare to provide its Enterprise Imaging (EI) platform, incorporating Vendor Neutral Archive, (VNA), XERO image management and RIS. The EI was set to support the trust’s users with an all-encompassing image management system, which provided advanced 3D imaging, embedded speech and reporting capabilities, customisable features, critical result and peer learning and an efficient audit trail module – all in an intuitive user interface. Integration to other trust systems was also a success – as EI offers vendor neutral capabilities, new business benefits and organisational automation can be realised with seamless interfacing with other medical IT systems. In this case, Agfa HealthCare’s technical teams integrated EI with ICE Order Communications System (OCS), to provide QEH with an electronic request channel for staff to seamlessly request diagnostic procedures and tests.
Scalability for future growth
In opting for Enterprise Imaging solution, encompassing a myriad of inter-connecting image management components, QEH has achieved interoperability from the very start of the EI investment. The trust’s paper-based tasks can be significantly reduced as all actions can be recorded in the EI Acquisition desktop, reducing duplicate data entry with a now digitalised process. Equally, the RIS will optimise the entire clinical and administrative workflow, from order evaluation and patient registration to results distribution. The trust quickly saw results, particularly within the ‘enterprising’ nature of a single converged platform – EI offers an imaging suite that can develop and grow in line with the trust – offering scalability and reducing the cost of any future integration requirements.
Agfa HealthCare is delighted to announce that The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Trust went live with Agfa HealthCare’s Enterprise Imaging (EI) on 7 August 2021.