Business, diagnostic imaging, information technology  

Agfa to integrate radiology and PACS in 15 Norwegian hospitals

19 July 2006

Mortsel, Belgium. The Western Norway Regional Health Authority, Helse Vest, has selected Agfa HealthCare, along with partner eCare, to integrate patient radiology information from 15 private and public hospitals in the region, which together perform some 800,000 radiology examinations per year.

The Vestlandet region is one of the five major regions of Norway.It has a scattered population with many small hospitals and limited healthcare resources. With a clear need for efficient cross-enterprise solutions, Helse Vest turned to Agfa HealthCare to integrate the various existing  RIS/PACS (radiology information system/picture archiving and communications system) solutions, which are supplied by six different vendors.

Radiologists in the region will be able 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 using 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 this year and full integration is expected to be completed by the end of spring, 2007.

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