A digital imaging archive that will give medics across the East Midlands faster access to X-rays is a step closer now that a provider has been chosen to supply the system.
The £30m contract has been awarded to GE Healthcare following a procurement exercise led by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The trust is one of seven members of the East Midlands Radiology Procurement (EMRAD) consortium, who have signed a 10-year deal with GE Healthcare to provide the cloud-based system, which will enable all staff across the region to access and share the same imaging information, regardless of their location.
Now the year-long tender process is complete, the new Picture Archiving and Communications (PACS) and Radiology Information Systems (RIS) are set to roll out across each of the seven NHS partners over the next 18 months.
Penny Storr, EMRAD programme director, said: “This is a huge investment in our systems to deliver better patient care across the East Midlands. It means that doctors will be able to see images for patients transferred to them straight away and call in specialist opinion from colleagues at different locations.”
Medics have led the consortium, so we know we have been able to focus on factors that make a real difference to patients, and, because we've negotiated as a group, each hospital has a better deal for the NHS than it would have agreed alone
In addition to the RIS/PACS solutions, the deal with GE Healthcare includes vendor neutral archiving and a Universal Viewer, which allows clinicians to see different types of patient information held on other systems within one screen. Also part of the contract is GE Healthcare’s new Centricity 360 product, which enables clinicians to collaborate in a secure cloud environment. The trusts in the EMRAD consortium will be early adopters of this new technology in the UK.
Matthew Stork, general manager of GE Healthcare IT in the UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be working with the EMRAD consortium on a project of this scale. We will be providing an innovative, exceptional system that will connect the trusts across the region and provide collaboration tools that could be used on a much wider scale. We are looking forward to working closely with the trusts now on the implementation programme.”
Dr Tim Taylor, consultant radiologist at Nottingham University Hospitals, which led the EMRAD clinical team through the procurement, added: "Radiology systems have developed hugely in the years since they were first installed nationwide and the better they are, the better we can diagnose and treat patients.
“Medics have led the consortium, so we know we have been able to focus on factors that make a real difference to patients, and, because we've negotiated as a group, each hospital has a better deal for the NHS than it would have agreed alone."