Sources suggest that more than 20 million outpatient appointments did not take place over the 12 months to March 2021. It could in theory take the NHS as much as four and a half years – 235 weeks – to clear this at its current capacity, which is why it has become a clear focus in the latest planning guidance.
In order to support the NHS in its endeavour to reduce the backlog, we all need to collectively work towards building products and services that drive digital acceleration and improve productivity across all major departments.
One way that we can help is by supporting the optimisation of resources across radiology and laboratory services, through the creation of collaborative networks. By creating intelligent networks, organisational boundaries no longer limit capacity, since work can be shared across a wider pool of resources, with the potential for rule-based automation. Added benefits include the enablement of home working, and more convenient, quicker- access to specialists or secondary opinion. Furthermore, the addition of workflow enhanced AI, available from our extensive network of partners, can help with workload prioritisation.
We can deliver this in several ways through our market-leading Radiology Information System (RIS) Cris, and Laboratory Information System (LIMS) Evolution vLab. In our unique position as supplier of RIS and LIMS systems, we have the potential to connect both disciplines, to enable all diagnostic data and images to be available in one place. Bringing these services closer together, clinicians can access a single integrated view of diagnostic tests, images, reports, and results to streamline the diagnostic process, which is critical for early diagnosis and enabling the rapid commencement of treatment.
We are continually evolving our solution portfolio based on customer feedback and emerging requirements. Recent developments include Patient Reviewer, a new module for Cris which can be used to support improvements in access to requesting and acknowledging reports by referring clinicians and GPs across a region. Cris Analytics provides the ability to track patient pathways, therefore, when deployed at a regional level, could enable better management of waiting lists and cross-organisational initiatives to address cancer or cardiovascular disease, for example. The integration of AI algorithms targeted at these conditions could also streamline the processes of diagnosis and pathway tracking through automated stratification of the patients from the imaging studies.
If you want to know more about our specialist RIS and LIMS systems, or how you can introduce improvements through integrating diagnostic services, then please get in touch.