The Vestlandet region, one of the five major regions of Norway, has a scattered population, with many small hospitals and limited healthcare resources. With a clear need for efficient cross-enterprise solutions, the Helse Vest - Western Norway Regional Health Authority turned to Agfa HealthCare to integrate the various RIS/PACS (Radiology Information System/Picture Archiving and Communication System) solutions already in place in the region, supplied by six different vendors.
The Agfa HealthCare solution will allow radiologists in the region to order diagnostic services from remote hospitals (RIS to RIS) and receive the reports in their local RIS. They will also be able to access historical patient information such as existing RIS orders and reports and related PACS images, available in other RIS/PACS systems in the region. The solution will deliver vendor-independent cross-system communication utilizing standards such as HL7 and KITH XML (CEN), DICOM and XDS. Once the implementation is complete, patients in the Vestlandet region can be referred to any hospital and be assured that radiologists have a complete radiology record at hand.
The patient radiology records that accompany the images will be made available via InfoBroker, developed by Stockholm-based eCare. InfoBroker is a clinical communication application which will provide the radiologist with an on-screen toolbox offering access to the patient's historical records from any of the region's healthcare sites, stored on the various RIS/PACS systems in the regional network.
The links between the images and patient information are provided automatically and are adapted each time patient information is changed in a RIS/PACS connected to the InfoBroker. The InfoBroker toolbox also provides RIS to RIS ordering functionality, for an efficient, secure and auditable workflow.
Under the terms of the Helse Vest agreement, Agfa HealthCare will provide the services (project management, installation, training, implementation and support) for the major part of the delivery. Agfa HealthCare will begin taking hospitals online in November, 2006 and full integration is expected to be completed by the end of spring, 2007.
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