News round-up

Radiology boost at Lincoln trust

The new system can provide the speed, precision, and optimum performance that is demanded of a modern vascular and interventional radiology service. It will help us to offer innovative, state-of-the-art, quality care in a new purpose-built suite

X-RAY services in Lincolnshire have become more advanced with the installation of an upgraded radiology system at Pilgrim Hospital. As part of a refurbishment of the unit, carried out by provider Toshiba, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has formed a new facility where procedures will be carried out, such as inserting balloons, catheters, microcatheters and stents into the body using X-ray image guidance. Toshiba's Infinix VFi X-ray system is the centerpiece of the unit; a floor-mounted system using the latest technology to present high-quality fluoroscopic images as well as 3D, rotational and CT-like imaging. Radiology services manager, Nigel Allen, said: "The new system can provide the speed, precision, and optimum performance that is demanded of a modern vascular and interventional radiology service. It will help us to offer innovative, state-of-the-art, quality care in a new purpose-built suite."

Conference will throw spotlight on MES

PROCUREMENT experts are urging NHS managers to consider asset financing techniques in the wake of capital spending cuts, and a conference later this year will provide them with an introduction to the initiatives. The British Institute of Radiology is hosting a one-day conference entitled Dispelling the Myths of Managed Equipment Service (MES) on 27 October in London. The event will provide an overview of MES as a vehicle to help fund the replacement and procurement of radiology technologies, such as MRI and LINAC equipment. This method enables trusts to spread the cost of purchasing and ensure constant upgrading of equipment over a set period of time. Among the speakers at the event will be Duncan Eaton, former chief executive of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, and Anouk Vermeer-de-Boer of Philips Healthcare.

New telemedicine platform unveiled

At a time when health budgets are restricted and governments want patients to have more choice and take control of their care, the use of telemedicine seems an obvious solution to many health challenges with which our societies are faced

CSC has launched a pioneering telemedicine platform, enabling clinicians in primary and secondary care to conduct secure, remote audio visual consultations and empowering patients to take more control over their health and wellbeing. eMEDlink enables patients to be closely monitored, with virtual ward rounds and ad hoc consultations. It is hoped the deployment will help to reduce waiting times and the costs associated with unplanned admissions as well as reducing attendance at outpatient clinics and the pressure on patient transport. The solution has the capability to support a number of conditions including COPD, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, mental health, obesity, palliative care, post-operative care, pregnancy and stroke. Freddy Lykke of CSC's European Healthcare Solution Centre, said: "This is a powerful solution in the way that it encompasses all three components of telemedicine: video consultation, the ability for patients to take their own measurements, and the ability to present data back to patients, not only those provided by them, but also all data held by medical providers. Combining this solution with other data means that telemedicine is not an isolated island. Very few telemedicine solutions on the market today offer such capability." CSC vice president, Dr Harald Deutsch, added: "At a time when health budgets are restricted and governments want patients to have more choice and take control of their care, the use of telemedicine seems an obvious solution to many health challenges with which our societies are faced."

King's College Hospital wins recognition

SUPPLY chain standards organisation, GS1 UK, has named King's College Hospital's dental facility the UK's first Healthcare Centre of Excellence. The award was granted in recognition of improvements achieved through the implementation of a barcoded instrument track-and-trace system. Installed by GS1 UK solution provider, Meditrax, King's College Hospital Dental now has much more visibility over approximately 16,000 surgical instruments it uses every week. "By using a unique identification code for some pieces of equipment, staff are able to locate items quickly and easily," said Roger Lamb, spokesman for GS1 UK. "With some specialist surgical tools costing hundreds of pounds to replace each time they are misplaced, it has also helped reduce costs significantly." In addition, the Meditrax system provides a traceable log of the sterilisation process, considerably speeding up decontamination. It also enhances patient safety by ensuring contaminated instruments are not re-used or can be recalled if necessary. The announcement of the Centre of Excellence status means it will be seen as a benchmark for other NHS centres across the country. Davisha Humzah, King's College Hospital Dental's acting operations manager, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded Centre of Excellence status. We have adopted GS1 IK standards and incorporated the technology within our practices, processes and culture, enabling us to work much smarter and enhance both our business efficiency and patient safety. All our staff have been trained on the system and understand the immediate benefits it brings to their work." Last year, GS1 UK identified that 26 days per nurse and £1billion in wages is lost every year hunting for missing equipment.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Panasonic has become one of the first major international companies to gain Medical Device certification to European Council directives 93/42/EEC and 2007/47/EC across a wide range of refrigeration and incubation products.

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