A £300 million scheme to upgrade IT services in the NHS in Northern Ireland will include provision for patient X-rays to be uploaded on to a digital database.
The Stormont government said the creation of the Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) will enable doctors to access X-ray and scan results at the press of a button.
Hospitals and doctors’ surgeries will also be able to transfer medical records and prescription details in an instant as a result of the upgrade of the NHS’s information technology systems.
Information and communications technology improvements will benefit from investment of £55 million in the next three years, with a total of £300 million spent by 2018.
Health minister Michael McGimpsey said: “A 21st century health and social care service needs the most modern and innovative technology available.
“By investing in technology we can vastly improve the experience of the patient using our services. Patient information is less likely to be lost and can be available to a wide range of staff at the touch of a button.”
Mr McGimpsey made the announcement at the opening of a £26 million state-of-the-art Medical Imaging Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast – part of a multi-million pound programme of investment at the hospital.
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