Iceland's advancing medical services

With two campuses, Iceland's Landspitali University Hospital (LUH) is the largest medical institution in Reykjavik. Both are affiliated with the University of Iceland. While LUH is chartered to serve the entire national population of 313,000, its primary focus has traditionally been on the 178,000 residents in and near the city. LUH is at the forefront of specialized healthcare in Iceland, and is the central base for providing medical services to its citizens as well as educating health professionals. More than 1,100 students are trained at the hospital annually, and nearly all Iceland's physicians received their medical education at LUH.

Today, Iceland counts 53 personal health clinics, widely scattered across the nation, which, despite its relatively small population, encompass a land area nearly the size of the UK.

Thorgeir Palsson, Clinical Engineering Manager in the Medical Service...
Thorgeir Palsson, Clinical Engineering Manager in the Medical Service Department
at LUH

A combination of hospital-based PACS technology and remote computed radiography (CR) units from Agfa HealthCare will now help many Icelanders receive prompt medical care regardless of location.
LUH had originally installed a basic PACS from Agfa HealthCare in 1997 linking various digital modalities within its radiology department, as well as workstations in other hospital-based locations. A comprehensive CR system was added in 2003. More recently, it upgraded to a newer IMPAX PACS version with an expanded network that included nearby clinical locations outside the main hospital campus.
Thorgeir Palsson, Clinical Engineering Manager at LUH, explained: ‘Growing our PACS over the years clearly demonstrated how we could link and archive images from various modalities, as well as make data available to other in-hospital sites. We also saw the speed, workflow improvements, performance reliability and image quality benefits of distributing digital imaging and information. Going digital meant no more film processing, with all the caustic chemicals and strong odors,’ he added. ‘I also like not having to store and manage chemical supplies, as well as avoiding the huge cost of safely discarding old chemistry. The CR system is very user-friendly, and I’m pleased with all the advantages it offers.’
‘LUH physicians and administration agreed it was logical to expand the network using Agfa HealthCare CR systems, since their experience with the original and current IMPAX products was so positive, and deploying the company’s CR technology would be an easy, transparent connection,’ Agfa pointed out. ‘As a result, Agfa HealthCare also deployed CR 35-X and CR 30-X CR systems.’  
Performing over 6,000 procedures annually, the Keflavik facility’s single CR unit and 11 special cassettes are in constant use.

01.07.2008

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