The problem of long NHS waiting lists does not appear to be going anywhere. In fact, it seems to be getting worse, year on year.
However, using medical imaging technology could help shorten waiting list times and enable hospitals to help more patients.
With 7.71 million people waiting for appointments, NHS waiting lists remain at their third-highest levels. What’s more, only 58.2 per cent of patients were waiting less than the target of 18 weeks.
NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter, however, has bucked the trend, recently admitting a 300 per cent increase in patients due to installing medical imaging and diagnostic technology.
Its equipment, which includes Aplio i800 Prism Edition machines, is able to provide high resolution images that allow precision scanning. It also comes with applications, such as shear wave elastrography, contrast enhanced ultrasound, and superb microvascular imaging.
This can help doctors with the diagnostic procedure, helping to give answers to patients quicker and relieve the backlog of those waiting for a diagnosis.
Principal songographer at NHS Nightingale Jane Baker said: “We have already seen improved productivity, with faster examinations and more accurate diagnoses due to superb image quality.”
Patients have also noted that their referral from the GP to their appointment has been “quick” and “efficient”.
Indeed, the new technology has helped reduce the waiting list from six to less than two weeks.
This is due to the fact the ultrasound department now has four outpatient scanning suites, having previously just had one. It can, therefore, see three times as many patients as it used to, helping to get through the waiting list at a much faster rate.
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