A network that connects every National Health Services (NHS) acute hospital in England is giving thousands of patients unprecedented and easy online access to their images such as x-rays, ultrasound, CT and MRI scans. The Image Exchange Portal, or IEP, is already relied on in the UK in the sharing of some 35-40 million images each week between NHS professionals. Now an extension to the network, IEP with Anyone is spreading benefits directly to patients, allowing people throughout the country to quickly view their imaging through a secure log-in. The move is helping to end a costly and outdated reliance on CDs for the UK NHS. Annie Pinfold, a senior PACS consultant at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “This makes a real difference to our patients who need their imaging for all sorts of reasons, including the support of claims, second opinions, specialist treatment or simply because they want to see their images. We have seen a surge in imaging requests from patients since the high profile General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into place. Having access to IEP with Anyone is helping to manage this growing demand, with two thirds of patients who ask for their images now specifically requesting IEP with Anyone rather than CDs. We have been saving time and money – with each CD request from patients consuming up to 20 minutes of staff time, and nearly £9 in production and postage costs, compared to five minutes and only pence through IEP with Anyone”.
Sectra is the company which manages the Image Exchange Portal for the NHS. Jane Rendall, managing director for Sectra in the UK and Ireland, said: “Physical media is going out of fashion. The NHS needs to provide information in a way that is accessible, fast, easy and secure. This extension to one of the most widely used networks in the NHS allows that and is already helping thousands of patients each month ”.
Patients are given access to IEP with Anyone by their hospital through a secure log-in. Their imaging remains in the portal for up to 60 days during which time they can use forwarding features to easily share with trusted third parties, who can view dynamic image sets from a secure link.