NIPACS+ is LIVE at Belfast City Hospital
1 February 2024
Saturday 20th January 2024 marked a major milestone date in the delivery of the NIPACS+ Programme with the successful Go-Live at Belfast City Hospital (BCH). This Go-Live has been achieved through significant planning, collaboration, support and coordination with a wide range of stakeholders. Key activities that have gone into achieving this Go-Live include:
- Data Migration – A complete legacy Radiology Information System (RIS) to NIPACS+ RIS mapping process and data migration has been undertaken to ensure legacy RIS data is migrated into NIPACS+.
- Testing – To facilitate the migration of data, Sectra, GE and the BHSCT undertook extensive testing and validation of the migrated RIS data.
- Training – BHSCT staff have undertaken a significant amount of training to ensure that they are ready to use the NIPACS+ solution from day one of cutover.
- Workstation Deployment – Trust based workstations were deployed, installed and tested over Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January to ensure that Radiologists and Reporting Radiographers had access to report on the NIPACS+ Solution from day one of cutover.
- Integration with Varian ARIA Oncology Information System – This provides integration for image guided treatment techniques along with workflow and modality integrations with BCH Cancer Centre for users of this service.
A huge thank you to the BHSCT PACS Team and Project Manager, BHSCT IT Department, GE Healthcare and Sectra Ltd who all worked tirelessly to complete this work, which all contributed to an efficient and successful Go- Live.
The Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), currently planned for early 2024, will be the final site for Phase 1 of the NIPACS+ Programme, meaning all Radiology and Digital Pathology services across the region will have a single point of access to imaging.
In November, the Programme achieved its first Phase 2 Go-Live for Additional Imaging Specialties (AIS). Cardiology, Obstetrics, Endoscopy, Dental and Medical Photography are successfully storing imaging and utilising NIPACS+.
The Programme is working with encompass in relation to an optimisation phase for these Additional Imaging Specialties (AIS) to ensure they are utilising NIPACS+ to its full potential. NIPACS+ (Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communication System) will provide a single point of access imaging solution for HSCNI, to improve patient safety and enhance patient care across Northern Ireland.
Joanne Allison, Programme Manager NIPACS+, said:
“This is a major step for both the NIPACS+ Programme and HSCNI’s digital transformation journey and provides great benefits to patients across Northern Ireland. I am delighted with the progress that we as a Programme have made, and I recognise that this could not have been achieved without the efforts of everyone involved. The Programme will continue to collaborate with BHSCT colleagues to plan and deliver the integration for the RVH”
David Campbell, Consultant Radiologist/BCH Site Specialty Improvement Lead, said:
“We are delighted that BCH go-live has been successful. This is a massive step forward. Huge thanks are due to everyone who has helped get the project to this stage for all their hard work, including the PACS Teams and of course Sectra!”
Dr Peter Kennedy, Senior Interventional Radiologist, BHSCT, said:
“The roll out of NIPACS+ to the Belfast City Hospital is the penultimate step before NIPACS+ is completely Northern Ireland wide. We are one step closer to Dr Brendan Devlin’s vision when he was instrumental in the creation of NIPACS in the early years……NIPACS+ will bring the patients’ radiological history together, reducing unnecessary examinations, improving outcomes for patients and will save time for radiologists.”