Digital images being reviewed

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) plans to review 42,616 digital images stored in the provincial Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS), which have recently been identified as potentially unreadable.
The NLCHI says it's working with the regional health authorities in the province to conduct this review. The images would have been transferred to the provincial archive prior to October 2008. The number is said to be significantly less than one per cent of the 91 million images stored in the archive.
The centre said the images stored in the PACS archive serve as historical reference and are not used for primary patient diagnosis, meaning initial and current patient care is not impacted.
The diagnostic reports based on the original image remain accessible. In addition, any digital images since October 31, 2008 are not impacted.
"We have encountered a technical issue within the PACS archive and the centre is now working with the regional health authorities to conduct a manual review of the potentially affected images to determine how many are actually unreadable," said Mike Barron, CEO of the centre. "The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Radiologists is aware of the issue. The clinical chiefs of radiology within the Regional Health Authorities are also involved in the manual review process."
Digital images are filmless exam images, including X-ray, computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, which are captured, stored and sent through PACS using digital technology.
The initial assessment is expected to take several weeks to complete and additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available. In the interim, any individuals who have concerns can contact 1-877-752-6006 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday with this telephone line being monitored routinely after hours.

Organizations: Picture Archiving and Communications System, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Radiologists

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