December 12, 2011 — McKesson announced successful deployment of its Horizon Medical Imaging solution at the first four of 35 hospitals in Ireland as part of an exclusive partnership with the Irish Health Service Executive (HSE). Those hospitals include Beaumont Hospital, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Sligo General Hospital and Waterford Regional Hospital.
All four institutions will roll out McKesson’s picture archiving and communications system (PACS) and radiology imaging system (RIS) as part of HSE's National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) initiative.
NIMIS is the world's largest integrated medical imaging project designed to move Ireland to advanced digital technology. The agreement will help to ensure all 3.5 million radiology studies performed each year in Ireland are available to clinicians at any time and in all locations; this will provide greater efficiency, safety and more accountable patient care. When NIMIS is complete, Ireland will have one of the most advanced and integrated radiology IT infrastructures in the world.
“PACS and radiology information systems (RIS) are at the heart of the modern radiology department,” explained Niall Sheehy, M.D., lead radiologist for NIMIS. “NIMIS will bring PACS/RIS to all public hospitals in Ireland and enable electronic image sharing between them.”
Hospitals have already experienced a significant reduction in radiology report turnaround times, going from up to two weeks down to 30 minutes. The project also is the foundation for a national image archive.
Like many countries, Ireland had already begun the steps toward automation. In fact, one quarter of Irish hospitals have a PACS system where images are captured, stored and examined. However, without a centralized architecture, all existing PACS in Ireland acted in isolation with no sharing of images or patient data between facilities. Patients transferred or sent for second opinions required film packets or images stored on CD.
With Horizon, a single nationwide solution will link all public hospitals and standardize care through a central database that will serve as a national image archive. As a result, when patients are examined at any public hospital or outpatient clinic in Ireland, their entire imaging history will be immediately available to the clinical team; this will minimize errors and accelerate decision-making.
McKesson also is implementing 3-D and advanced visualization, research tools and electrocardiography for cardiology that integrate with Horizon. In addition, a voice recognition system will permit immediate digital dictation, transcription and distribution of radiologists’ reports.
“With McKesson and representative hospitals from across Ireland, we invested the time upfront to create a central design methodology that standardized our implementation process,” said Neil O’Hare, professor and HSE NIMIS project lead. “This methodology helped to ensure success at each of our go-lives and allowed us to deploy the multiple sites in a short period of time.”
In addition to technology, McKesson offers a wide range of services designed to help radiologists maximize the value of their image management solutions. For example, its storage service provides full disaster recovery with archiving in a single solution; this helps providers eliminate expenses associated with storage, administration costs and hardware obsolescence.
The remaining hospitals will roll out the Horizon system over the next twenty months. Five hospitals in the northeast region will round out the first phase of implementations. The second phase will include Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin, Naas General Hospital and St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) was established in January 2005 as the single body responsible for meeting Ireland’s health and social care needs. It provides thousands of services to young and old, in hospitals, health facilities and communities across the country.
The largest employer in the state, the HSE employs more than 65,000 staff in direct employment and a further 35,000 staff are employed by voluntary hospitals and bodies funded by the HSE.
For more information: www.mckesson.com