IT Integration

Efficiencies improved with e-referral system designed for NHS

March 2016

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NHS England has selected the Molecular Imaging Collaborative Network (MICN), led by Alliance Medical, to provide PET-CT scanning services across 31 locations in England. Key to the provision of services, is integration of IT systems to significantly improve turnaround times (TAT) and patient experience. 

Effective IT integration will speed up the reporting process and reduce turnaround times (TAT), the time the patient has to wait between referral and receiving their scan results.

A key commitment from the MICN is a reduction of the time taken to report a PET-CT scan to a referring clinician.  There is currently variance across the country and the integrated IT system will help to improve and standardise the reporting service.  This, together with other initiatives, such as improving access to scanners, will help to achieve a TAT of 5 days for 75% of all cases by 2018.  As well as reducing anxiety of waiting for patients and families, this will provide clinicians with more information for MDT meetings, enabling them to achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment planning.

Alliance Medical is currently working with 31 Trusts to integrate with each host Radiology Information System (RIS) to ensure an end-to-end, real-time, IM&T solution together with the ability to accept e-referrals via an integrated web portal. The solution is underpinned by a robust Radiology Management System (RMS) that provides real-time management information from the point a patient is referred, to image and report delivery ready for discussion at the MDT.  Patients are tracked throughout their pathway, with Alliance Medical providing timely and relevant activity data supporting proactive and efficient patient management.

Integrated information flow for PET-CT services

Fully integrated IT is a critical component of a partnership solution. A single system has the benefit of improving quality by achieving integrity and completeness of data. 

The e-referral system has designated access restrictions to maintain patient confidentiality and safety, while allowing relevant information to be provided to those directly involved in patient care, as well as generating standard reports for key stakeholders such as NHS England.

NHS England is committed to improving the diagnosis of cancer and this investment in vital scanning services will support this in providing rapid turnaround of scan results, at a greater number of locations across the country.  This is very positive news for patients.
Dr Wai Lup Wong
Consultant radiologist and Chair of NHS England’s PET-CT Clinical Reference Group

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