LONDON, Feb. 24 – Homerton University Hospital, in the east London Borough of Hackney, has purchased and installed three CARESTREAM DRX-1 Systems in preparation for imaging athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The hospital is located just two miles from the main Olympic venues.
The Homerton radiology department recently installed CARESTREAM DRX-1 Systems, which feature the industry’s first wireless, cassette-size detector, in three general x-ray rooms. In addition, the hospital purchased two additional DRX-1 detectors that can be moved between rooms to ensure immediate response during peak workloads. The upgrade from CR to DR technology means that all general X-ray rooms will now benefit from the speed of DR technology.
The department currently has a total of 104,000 exams per year across all modalities, which include MR, mammography, fluoroscopy and ultrasound. The department installed a 64-slice CT scanner 18 months ago.
Head of Imaging Services, Colin West, is in charge of strategic, financial and operational management of the department. He reports the decision to implement the DRX-1 systems was very simple. “Our x-ray equipment was only five or six years old but we definitely needed DR functionality. So to be able to have a system like the DRX-1 that offered an upgrade to DR without removing the x-ray system was absolutely on the button.”
Installation of the CARESTREAM DRX-1 Systems took one working day for each room. Previous audits showed that the patient process—from arrival to departure—took about 40 minutes. The first week after installation showed turnaround time for the imaging process had been reduced by half—to 20 minutes. In addition, the time patients spent in the exam was reduced from eight minutes to five minutes.
“We purchased the DRX-1 systems to achieve improvements in productivity and efficiency and the systems immediately accomplished those goals,” said West.
As a direct result of the improvements in clinical workflow West is now looking at a new design for the layout of the radiology department. “We currently have a waiting area with 50 chairs in it and I’m already looking to see if we can reduce that to 30, thus freeing up space. We’re also monitoring the number of changing rooms we need.”
And what effect does West think that the 2012 Olympics will have on his workflow? “There will be some 100,000 extra people arriving two miles away,” he said. “We’re likely to be quite busy!”