THE Chief Medical Director (CMD), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, has disclosed that the hospital would take the lead in the training of radiology informatics in the West African sub-region for precise and effective healthcare delivery in diseases such as cancer.
The CMD made the disclosure in Ibadan at the weekend, while addressing newsmen on the sideline of the opening of the new Radiology Reporting Room, in partnership with RAD-AID International, a US-based non-profit organisation.
According to a report by the Vanguard, Prof. Otegbayo also hinted that the radiology reporting room, which came with the installation of a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and access to the Google Cloud Platform, would provide essential imaging informatics services.
According to him, imaging informatics played an essential role in training, research, accurate diagnosis and prognosis of diseases like cancer.
He said further: “Medicine has advanced so much that you don’t just make a diagnosis by merely examining patients and making your own intuitive decisions.”
“We need advanced and high-tech investigative modalities and what has been commissioned in the radiology department is part of the efforts to make an effective and accurate diagnosis.”
“This facility is part of the efforts of this administration to improve patient care and staff welfare.”
“The opening of this facility is in line with our vision to make UCH a landmark and “Mecca’ for cutting-edge research and training in West Africa.”
“Radiology Informatics, also known as Medical Imaging informatics, concerns with how medical images are used and exchanged through complex healthcare systems.”
“We appreciate RAD-AID International officials for the faith they have in us to take this important revolutionary step with us in spite of negative publicity in the media,” he said.
The Director of RAD-AID in Nigeria, Dr. Farouk Dako, said radiology informatics help clinicians to have immediate electronic access to medical images, save precious time and cost as well as allow timely medical decisions by reducing unnecessary repetition of examinations.
He stressed that digital imaging and health information technologies have become critical to the provision of better and precise quality patient care and management.
“It is also not only to save the cost of care, but it also makes the job of radiologists easier and this helps them to perform to the peak.”
“Our work here in UCH has been successful because the hospital has a pre-existing infrastructure, which makes it easy for us to take the necessary steps.”
“We have been able to connect some of their x-rays and CT scans and MRIs to a more centrally located place, where it can be saved and archived whenever it is needed and patients don’t have to go around with films and worry about lost records.”
Dako, a radiologist, said that RAD-AID International exists to advance the provision of digital imaging and health information services for medically-under-served populations in low and middle-income countries.
“We have a partnership agreement with UCH and I foresee a bright future in our partnership because of the support and cooperation we enjoyed from the hospital community,” he said.
Meanwhile, the hospital has acquired nine state-of-the-art anaesthesia machines and equipment worth over N81million.
The procurement of this equipment, according to Prof. Otegbayo was in a bid to reduce the long surgery waiting period of patients.
He said that leveraging on technological advances in the speciality of anaesthesiology would help improve patients’ care and speed up surgical procedures.
In his words: “When I went around the theatre at the inception of my administration, I saw the poor state of the facility, including the toilets and the changing rooms.”
“The newly redesigned and renovated theatre is part of efforts to continue with the two cardinal points of this administration which are the welfare of the members of staffer and comfort of our patients.”
“We also got rid of the obsolete anaesthetic equipment and provide state-of-the-art anaesthetic equipment, as obtainable elsewhere in the world.
“With the equipment, the waiting list for surgeries will be reduced and access to surgical procedures easier, while there will be an increase in the number of surgeries being done.”
“When the surgeons and other support staff are comfortable and have good work environment, they will be more passionate about their jobs and it will consequently affect healthcare outcome positively,” he said.