Mitigating a post-covid-19 surge on imaging departments with joined tech
Despite a falling number of Covid–19 patients in ITU, imaging departments are facing another surge in demand, explains Dr James Diss, radiology registrar at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) NHS Trust.
In an interview with Digital Health, he explains how tech will be vital in helping them continue to provide high-quality care.
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Extract – Focus on using tech to meet demand : XERO Universal Viewer and Microsoft Teams integration
The national rollout of Microsoft Teams was a significant first step in helping the trust recognise how technology can help meet the immediate demands from the Coronavirus.
Microsoft Teams was rolled out to all users of NHSmail in England and Scotland in March to quickly facilitate remote working and consultation during the COVID-19 outbreak, and it provided us with the data sharing and chat functionality that colleagues had been requesting for months.
But while the new functionality promised to provide a new, fast and secure line of communication, we still needed to find a way to make it work in practice. And as we were already using Agfa’s XERO Image Viewer for radiology, we thought the best way to do this was by speaking with the two technology companies to see if we could integrate their systems.
After just a few weeks of development, we are the very first in the organisation to have this new combined system in place, which helps free up the time we need to cope with the demand.
From a security point of view, the integration aligns to information governance policies, and everything is fully-auditable so that we can use it to support enhanced image sharing between clinicians, with user-specific access rights and controls. As a result, colleagues can seamlessly and securely share COVID-19-related images via their mobile device; they simply click on a button within the Image Viewer and use the chat functionality within Teams to discuss what they see.
Normally, sharing and discussing images would take a significant amount of time — two people would have to log in to a computer simultaneously, share patient details, and debate their findings, and often these computers take several minutes just to boot up. Image sharing between staff now takes milliseconds, and it can be done from anywhere in the hospital.
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More on the XERO Universal Viewer and Microsoft Teams integration at Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust: click here
For more COVID-19 configurations, access the #StrongerTogether webpage (*).
(*) Please know that depending on your region and current installation, some use cases may not be applicable to you. Please check with your local Agfa HealthCare contact person.