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Frequently Asked Questions about NIMIS

NIMIS will:

  • Install PACS/RIS systems into all acute hospitals within the HSE that do not currently have one
  • Install Speech Recognition systems for the rapid production of radiology reports
  • Allow movement of patient images throughout the HSE, with the appropriate security and access requirements
  • Extend the solution to ensure the integration of Cardiology Angiography and Ultrasound images
  • Implement electronic ordering / requesting of radiology examinations
  • Integrate with GP messaging systems to allow procedure requests and rapid distribution of reports back to the GP
  • Support educational and research activities at all levels

Who will install the system in the hospitals?

The project team has established a schedule for installing NIMIS in 35 hospitals in Ireland and this schedule can be views and tracked online.  The system will be installed primarily by the local hospital PACS/RIS Project Team and staff from McKesson, the company contracted to provide the new system.   It takes approximately 6 to 12 months to install, depending on the size and complexity of the diagnostic imaging services within the hospital.

When will NIMIS come to my hospital?

The project began in early 2010 and you can track which hospitals are coming on stream, and when, in the Roll Out Calendar on this site.

How are a patient’s  x-rays going to be stored?

Traditionally x-ray films, and indeed complete medical records, have been stored in large archive rooms. These are located on-site if you are attending the hospital, or have done so in the last 2-3 years. Sometimes they are stored off-site if they have not been required for some time. With the new system all your x-ray films will be stored on large computer systems and available immediately on-site.

Is the current system not good enough?

The current radiology system in the majority of hospitals utilises x-ray film. While very successful for over 100 years, the film-based method has many disadvantages including being only available in one location at one time and requiring resources and large amounts of space to adequately store the patient’s films. A PACS system removes these problems while providing the service with many substantial advantages.

How long will it take to install?

The time it takes to install the system ranges from about 6 months to approximately 12 months. This is dependant on the size and complexity of the diagnostic imaging services within the hospital. It is hoped to help hospitals in the installation with the utilisation of common configurations where applicable.

Will the patient data be safe and secure?

Yes. Once the images is acquired, it will be stored with any previous images the patient may have had. The images cannot be lost. They can only be deleted by authorised personnel. Any access of a patient’s images will be tracked by the system, identify the people who have viewed the patient’s record – a feature that is not available with the current film-based system.

Is the quality of the digital images as good as films?

Yes. In some cases, the quality of the digital image is better with extra diagnostic information being available

Who can see the patient’s images once stored?

Just as in the case of the current film-based system, there are a number of health care professionals that would view the images. These include the radiographer taking the image, the radiologist reporting on the examination, and the clinical personnel who originally requested the examination. If the patient is referred to another clinician for further treatment, then he/she would also be granted access to that patient’s records.  Access to patient images will be controlled by the privileges of the person using the system. Because this is controlled by password protected login, these digital systems are often more secure than the current film-based systems.

What happens if the patient moves to another hospital for treatment?

If the patient is moved or referred to another hospital for further treatment or expert diagnosis, the images will be only be available to appropriate clinical personnel in that hospital. When the system is fully operational, the images should be available for a remote consultation in less than 10 mins if necessary, irrespective of the distance.


If you have questions about the project, or would like to discuss the particular situation in your hospital, please drop us an e-mail to the address below

NIMIS Project Team     E-Mail:nimis@hse.ie

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