Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 12:12 UK

Patient files 'more accessible'

x-ray of patient
X-rays and scans will be stored electronically under the new system

The health service is to invest 300m in the next 10 years in information and communication technology.

The investment will mean that anyone in the health service, whether they are in a GP's surgery or a hospital ward, can access a patient's records.

The health minister said it would also improve record keeping and make it less likely that patients' notes are lost.

"A 21st century health service needs the most modern and innovative technology available," he said.

Michael McGimpsey made the announcement at the opening of the Medical Imaging Centre at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

"By investing in technology we can vastly improve the experience of the patient using our services," he said.

"Systems will be upgraded to ensure that there is a flow of information between primary and secondary care."

X-rays and scans will be stored electronically, meaning they can be viewed at any hospital in Northern Ireland.

"This system means patients will not have to wait as long for results and will be able to move quicker to the next point of treatment or discharge," said Mr McGimpsey.

"Clinicians will have instant access to historic images and patient records ensuring quicker diagnosis and treatment."


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