New hospital at the heart of future medical precinct

Netcare’s new flagship hospital on the Foreshore in Cape Town is the first phase of a development that will culminate in medical precinct, offering primary, secondary and tertiary medical, emergency, diagnostic and rehabilitative services.
New hospital at the heart of future medical precinctThe site of the original Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, started life in 1969 as a commercial building and parking garage, before it was converted and opened as City Park Hospital in 1983.

In July 2007, Netcare initiated a feasibility study to determine whether the hospital should be renovated or relocated. It indicated that renovating the 17-storey structure while running the hospital efficiently would have posed many logistical difficulties, as well as considerable inconvenience for patients, doctors, visitors and staff members.

“A comprehensive building audit revealed that the cost of renovation would be 95% of the projected cost of developing a new, purpose-built hospital. And so, by November 2009, a decision was taken to move the hospital, and the search started for the location that would become the home of the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” recalls Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare.

“After evaluating 32 different sites, the final choice was the corner of Rue Bartholemeu Dias Plain and DF Malan Street, then a dusty and unused parking lot.

“Building in the central business district of Cape Town presented challenges of its own but, fortunately, the design principles underpinning the construction of the new building were centred around flexibility and enabling growth. This meant that the hospital would not only be designed to readily accommodate expansion over time, but that its infrastructure would be able to accommodate state-of-the-art technology, such as robotic theatre equipment,” adds Friedland.

Special considerations

Construction so near to the Waterfront and harbour required the services of specialist consultants; aviation consultants assisted with the incorporation of a helistop on the roof of the facility, while marine consultants had to find solutions for the problem of the new hospital obscuring the Cape Town harbour navigation leading lights from ships at sea. This necessitated a new light tower to be erected in the harbour, and the height of the port navigation light on the municipal building to be increased.

Construction of the new hospital building began in June 2013, the commissioning commenced in July 2016 and was concluded in November 2016.

“At opening on Monday, 5 December 2016, the 16-storey building, which has a total floor space of approximately 30,000m2, will comprise 248 beds, of which of 61 will be intensive care and high care beds. There are 11 theatres, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical, surgical and paediatric wards, a maternity unit incorporating delivery rooms, a dedicated Caesarean theatre and neonatal ICU, as well as doctors’ consulting rooms and eight floors offering public parking,” says Friedland.

Design features

In addition to incorporating sophisticated green principles and technology in the design of the hospital, other key elements revolved around optimising patient safety.

“The building has been designed to international safety standards, for example in terms of fire safety specifications and the ability to withstand earthquakes. With the worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance, we have also placed considerable emphasis on infection prevention and control, which is evidenced in the inclusion of design elements such as glass partitioning between beds to help prevent the spread of infections.

The hospital will accommodate a full spectrum of medical disciplines including cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, orthopaedics, gastroenterology, gynaecology and obstetrics, internal medicine, reproductive medicine, paediatrics, nuclear medicine, radiology and interventional radiology, urology and robotic-assisted surgery for prostate, kidney and bladder cancer.

Future expansions

He adds that pockets of areas totalling 5,000m2 have been specifically designed on a number of floors within the hospital for future expansion of beds and other services, and that the building has the capacity to accommodate up to 375 beds in future.

“Provision has also been made for the construction of a radiation therapy bunker in the basement with state-of-the-art equipment to provide the latest radiation oncology treatment to cancer patients. This new facility will form part of the next phase of development,” Friedland explains.

The adjacent building, once occupied by Chevron, will be converted into a medical facility and incorporated into the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. It will house a day clinic, a sub-acute facility, a dialysis centre managed by National Renal Care, pathology laboratories, a Medicross family medical and dental centre, and facilities for physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other healthcare practitioners.

Investing in the City of Cape Town

The new hospital facility represents a considerable investment by Netcare in the City of Cape Town and it is envisaged that the scope of the new development will lead to the creation of a number of new job opportunities. The hospital is one of a number of new developments planned for the Foreshore over the next five to 10 years, which is set to completely revitalise the area and stimulate the same dynamic character of the rest of the inner city.

“It was Netcare’s vision to develop a world class healthcare facility that reflects the excellence, innovation and sanctity of life that is synonymous with the legacy of the hospital’s namesake, Professor Christiaan Barnard. It is our belief that the medical endeavours and pioneering spirit for which he is remembered will be carried forward at the new Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital,” Friedland concludes.

New diagnostic tool for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is often missed or under graded using standard biopsy techniques, once again highlighting the low priority of men’s health concerns on the agenda.
A biopsy, the most reliable method of detection, is a challenge because of the difficulties in visualising potentially cancerous areas of the prostate, but also the location of the biopsy needle. Trans-rectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TRUS), the current biopsy standard, can be compared to looking for a needle in a haystack, with poor image resolution; the biopsy needle often passes through tumour-free areas of the prostate – potentially missing the tumour entirely.

Source:
Source: Philips

“Current detection methods – namely prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams (DRE) – lack specificity and are often inconclusive leading to many uncertainties for both patient and urologist,” says Dr Greg Boustead, specialist urologist and robotic surgeon at Netcare Waterfall City.

“A lack of clear imaging has led to substantial uncertainty and inaccuracy in diagnosing prostate cancer: this means that at least 60% of cancers are missed; resulting in a 30%-40% re-biopsy rate. The gold standard for prostate biopsy (a 35-year-old pathway) is only accurately able to find up to 44% of prostate cancers within a cohort of men,” adds Boustead.

Therefore, he is one of the first urologists looking to invest in the Philips Invivo UroNav in South Africa in the future.
The system uses magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, fused with live ultrasound guidance in conjunction with electromagnetic tracking to plan, guide, and document prostate biopsies. It simultaneously displays registered MR and ultrasound images and the projected needle path relative to the suspicious target lesion during the biopsy procedure and guides the urologist in real-time. What this essentially means is that with this high resolution data and innovative targeting tools we can identify specific areas within the prostate gland that are suspicious and require further evaluation.

“This critical exchange of diagnostic information fosters enhanced collaboration between radiology and urology in the assessment and biopsy of suspicious prostate lesions,” says Boustead.

Performing a biopsy with MR/US fusion holds the potential to improve the sensitivity and specificity of prostate biopsies. This results in a reduced incidence rate of false negative biopsy results.

MCC’s new licensing requirements for medical devices

New regulations relating to the import and distribution of radiology equipment will start to bite in 2017, when revised Medicines Control Council (MCC) licensing requirements come into effect.
In terms of the regulations, distributors and local manufacturers of medical devices have to comply with six general and at least eight design and construction principles related to their safety and efficacy. Importantly, licence applicants cannot just claim to comply with the requirements, they actually have to demonstrate compliance.

MCC’s new licensing requirements for medical devices
© 123rf.com

“Effectively, it will become illegal to import and distribute potentially sub-standard, ‘pirate’ equipment,” says Nicolene Voget, product manager at Bidvest Medical.

In addition, any device – apart from those categorised as being totally without risk to the health and safety of the user or patient – must have already obtained registration or approval from at least one of the internationally recognised regulatory authorities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Japan or United States before they can be registered for use in South Africa.

“Until now, radiology equipment sold in South Africa has not been subjected to these pretty stringent regulations by the MCC. The new regulations should effectively shut down what has become a worrying trend where low-cost, potentially low-standard radiology equipment is increasingly being imported into South Africa. This is finding its way not only into private practices, but also into government institutions,” Voget explains.

“In many instances, the specifications of this ‘pirate’ equipment appear to match that of registered equipment. However, because it has not been subjected to the same rigorous testing, there is no way for local radiography practices to determine whether what they are installing meets the high safety and quality standards their patients deserve.”

She notes that all radiology equipment, including equipment already in use in South Africa will have to be subjected to the MCC’s scrutiny every five years to ensure it complies with the latest safety and efficacy regulations

The Changing Field Of Radiology Medical Imaging

The landscape of radiology medical imaging is being changed. The entire imaging field is switching from film copy to the 21st century and going digital. Through technology like the Candelis Imagegrid, radiologists can captures an image and instead of printing it on film, are sending them directly digitally to a diagnostic imaging modality to your PACS workstations.

Once a radiologist takes an image, using a mammography workstation for example, the images are stored permanently in an electronic archive. The wonderful thing about this is now this important information can now be shared with doctors, specialists and other health practitioners anywhere in the world as long as they have Internet access. The diagnostic and clinical PACS workstations, as well as how the images are made available to the referring community, are probably one of the radiology medical imaging technology’s strongest aspects.

An affordable PACS, such as the Candelis ImageGrid, is much more complex than just the simple definition of it that most people recognize. Providing simple automation of a hospital’s film and image-management processes requires a fully functional PACS which meets the needs of its entire staff. No where else is this more prevalent than in the diagnosis of breast cancer.

Mammography viewer technology is remarkable because now your radiologist can view and manipulate images in clearer detail with high-resolution computer monitors used to enhance visualization of the structures within the breast tissue. Now they can adjust the brightness and contrast, or zoom in on a specific area of interest to help detect small calcifications, masses, and other changes which can be signs of early cancer. This wonderful radiology medical imaging technology assures we are provided the best possible care and diagnosis.

Compared with standard mammograms, recorded on clumsy and bulky film, computer-based digital mammography viewers are more accurate. The accuracy of a Candelis ImageGrid is a positive aspect for younger women with dense breast tissue, those under 50 and women who are pre-menopausal.
As an affordable PACS used for mammography and radiology medical imaging, this remarkable piece of technology is wonderfully flexible, and is customizable to suit the unique needs of any doctor’s office or hospital. This affordable PACS has the capability of configuring every one of your office procedures and staff roles as well as record and archive patient files and records. For remote access over the Internet, the Candelis ImageGrid can be configured with different levels of security and can be optimized to meet specific user requirements.

Any health office can achieve a fully digitized radiology medical imaging system through the combination of clinical workstations such as diagnostic monitors, 3D viewers for reading volumetric data, mammography viewers, PET and CT viewers. It can also be implemented to work with web-based viewers, routers, networks, and servers to create efficiency in connectivity, cost effectiveness and better patient care.

Use A Dicom Web Server, Dicom Web Viewer And Pacs Teleradiology For All Your Medical Digital Imaging Needs

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A DICOM digital imaging system is comprised of several different parts, depending on what functions you need your digital medical imaging equipment to serve. Archiving or storage of digital images occurs through the use of a DICOM web server. When used in conjunction with a DICOM web viewer, you can see the digital images you need for diagnostic purposes. When this system is added to a PACS teleradiology option, it allows you to send and receive digital images via secure online connections. By using images that are in the DICOM digital format, your small and mid-sized medical facility can improve its efficiency as well as save on costs.

DICOM Web Server

This type of medical server functions in a similar fashion to other types of servers used with personal computers. Several computers can be networked to a DICOM web server, and at the end of the day all of the digital medical images produced that day at the medical facility can be stored on the server. It is important that medical digital images are stored according to HIPPA regulations, and by using a DICOM web server, you can be sure that your medical office is in compliance. The web server also allows for off-site storage of digital images, which is needed for disaster recovery.

Web Based Dicom Viewer

A DICOM web viewer is a software that translates your dicom data into a viewable picture. One of the great features that comes from using a web based dicom viewer is that it improves consultations and work with off-site specialists. As long as they have authorization and a computer with the appropriate DICOM web viewer software, they can access the digital medical images, making it possible to consult with physicians located around the globe. A web based dicom viewer can be the basis of a workstation in your medical office, allowing you to perform diagnoses with enhanced digital imagery.

Teleradiology and PACS

PACS is a type of management database and network for your digital medical images. Teleradiology is a means whereby physicians at different locations can access the same medical digital images at the same time. PACS is used at workstations, allowing for the distribution and storage of your patients’ digital images, and this is greatly enhanced through the speed of the Internet.

When you utilize a web server with a PACS network and a web based dicom viewer, small medical facilities will truly have the fully functional capabilities that once only large hospitals had, and at a fraction of the cost.

An Easy Explanation Of What A Pacs System Is

The field of medical imaging has never been more efficient and easier manage due in large part to the grown of PACS software technology. In this field of picture archiving, medical imaging and communication systems, radiology PACS techs use computers and networks dedicated solely to the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of images. The PACS system is a far cry from the old days of storing flimsy x-rays films in dark and dreary rooms.

Those old film based images have been replaced with crystal clear, digital images. Once an image is captured, it then becomes part of the patient’s medical record which is stored electronically anymore. These can be called up immediately and securely available to caregivers throughout any hospital with the ease of a few clicks since the PACS archive is stored in an independent format, with DICOM viewers being the most common format for storage.
A PACS system has three main uses:

• Replacing hard copy images: RIC PACS replaces the hard-copy means of managing medical images, such as film archives and storage.
• Remote and off-site access: Additionally, PACS software allows practitioners at various physical locations to access the same information simultaneously.
• Tele-education: It expands on the possibilities of medical capabilities such as off-site viewing, diagnosis and education.
The benefits of a PACS systems is often cited as the decreased turnaround time for a radiology report, the shorter times in takes for diagnosis and treatment, instant display of vital patient information, the simultaneous distribution of patient radiology information to multiple locations, and the increased efficiency of radiology.
Another benefit of a PACS system is its ability to store, retrieve, transport, display and print medical images throughout any hospital. Radiology PACS expands the data captured by the hospital’s existing computer system and what you get is a more complete electronic patient record.

This cutting edge, new RIS PACS technology not only provides important diagnostic images faster, but creates an online history of images which can be called upon from anywhere at anytime. Your medical records are no longer dependent on a physical record that can be used by only one person at a time. Let’s not overlook the fact that these film copies can be misplaced, lost, or even destroyed.
The most difficult area for PACS software is in the interpretation of the DICOM viewer image format. DICOM normally has enough freedom to allow various vendors of medical imaging equipment to create compliant and incompliant files. The ability to read the metadata from all the images in a central database is a common feature with a PACS system. This allows radiology PACS users the ability to retrieve an image with a common feature no matter what the originating instrument was.

The PACS system and radiology PACS are offered by nearly every major medical imaging equipment manufacturers, medical IT companies as well as independent software companies.

An Easy Explanation Of What A Pacs System Is

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The field of medical imaging has never been more efficient and easier manage due in large part to the grown of PACS software technology. In this field of picture archiving, medical imaging and communication systems, radiology PACS techs use computers and networks dedicated solely to the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of images. The PACS system is a far cry from the old days of storing flimsy x-rays films in dark and dreary rooms.

Those old film based images have been replaced with crystal clear, digital images. Once an image is captured, it then becomes part of the patient’s medical record which is stored electronically anymore. These can be called up immediately and securely available to caregivers throughout any hospital with the ease of a few clicks since the PACS archive is stored in an independent format, with DICOM viewers being the most common format for storage.
A PACS system has three main uses:

• Replacing hard copy images: RIC PACS replaces the hard-copy means of managing medical images, such as film archives and storage.
• Remote and off-site access: Additionally, PACS software allows practitioners at various physical locations to access the same information simultaneously.
• Tele-education: It expands on the possibilities of medical capabilities such as off-site viewing, diagnosis and education.
The benefits of a PACS systems is often cited as the decreased turnaround time for a radiology report, the shorter times in takes for diagnosis and treatment, instant display of vital patient information, the simultaneous distribution of patient radiology information to multiple locations, and the increased efficiency of radiology.
Another benefit of a PACS system is its ability to store, retrieve, transport, display and print medical images throughout any hospital. Radiology PACS expands the data captured by the hospital’s existing computer system and what you get is a more complete electronic patient record.

This cutting edge, new RIS PACS technology not only provides important diagnostic images faster, but creates an online history of images which can be called upon from anywhere at anytime. Your medical records are no longer dependent on a physical record that can be used by only one person at a time. Let’s not overlook the fact that these film copies can be misplaced, lost, or even destroyed.
The most difficult area for PACS software is in the interpretation of the DICOM viewer image format. DICOM normally has enough freedom to allow various vendors of medical imaging equipment to create compliant and incompliant files. The ability to read the metadata from all the images in a central database is a common feature with a PACS system. This allows radiology PACS users the ability to retrieve an image with a common feature no matter what the originating instrument was.

The PACS system and radiology PACS are offered by nearly every major medical imaging equipment manufacturers, medical IT companies as well as independent software companies.

Using Radiology For Health Prevention Is A Great Lifesaver

There are four main types of radiology: diagnostic, interventional, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy. The diagnostic radiological procedure includes common preventative medicine practices like MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, X-rays and angiography. Doctors check the various systems of the body to determine if anything is wrong. This is the best health prevention method, aside from the standard healthy diet and exercise.

The interventional radiological method is an alternative to surgery that includes biopsies, cancer treatments, angioplasty, embolization, vertebroplasty, nerve blocks and varicose vein treatments. Nuclear medicine is a way of assessing damage done to the heart, lungs, thyroid, liver, gallbladder and bones.

The physiological damage and progression of tumors can be monitored using this method. Lastly, radiation therapy is used to treat brain tumors and cancers, such as breast, colorectal, head, neck, lung and prostate.

Radiological methods can be used within three hours of a person’s stroke symptoms. Strokes are typically caused by blood clots to the brain, so the standard procedure dissolves blood clots through an intravenously injected tissue plasminogen activator. If it has been more than three hours, but less than six, then an intra-arterial thrombolysis treatment may be performed, which places the clot-busting drug right at the site and will mechanically break up the clot.

With this amazing minimally invasive procedure, most stroke patients can regain full functionality and return to every day life. Health experts say the main challenge with stroke radiology is having enough stroke teams ready to handle patients within the three-hour timeframe.

One of the most common uses of radiology is for angioplasty, or the opening of clogged arteries, which benefits patients who are at risk for heart attacks or strokes. In this procedure, inflated balloons are passed through catheters to the trouble spots to increase blood flow to the brain, kidneys and legs.

Often, chemicals are placed in clogged locations to dissolve the plaque or the clots, which are then mechanically broken up. Another related radiological technique is stent grafting, where a synthetic tube is placed in large blood vessels to prevent an aneurysm or fatal bleeding.

Those concerned with senior health favor the non-invasive methods especially. Many people are in and out during the same day and continue to live productive lives afterward.

The use of radiology for health prevention and testing is one of the biggest lifesavers, health experts say. Ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and mammograms have the ability to help patients who would have otherwise died to live an extra 20+ years.

As for interventional radiological procedures, the benefits are numerous. It requires less anesthesia, less trauma to the body, shortens the hospital stay and recovery period, as well as causing minimal discomfort.

Radiology Technician Schools – Benefiting Your Career

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Radiology technician schools offer training and education to aspiring radiology technicians. A radiology technician is the person who is involved in the operation of the ultrasound and x-ray machine. It is also his job to conduct maintenance checks on the machines to make sure that they are working properly at all times. Read on to find out more about the benefits of studying at radio technology schools and becoming a radiology technician.

Job Security

During the recent economic crisis, lots of people were gravely affected because they lost their jobs. Without a job there was no source of income to meet all their daily cost of living. Thousands lost their jobs because a lot of major companies and businesses were forced to shut down operations and terminate their employees. In the midst of the financial crisis, where people were losing their jobs and companies were closing down, one industry remained stable and that is the health care industry. Those working in hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities remained secure in their jobs. Because it has already been proven how stable this industry is, many people are thinking of attending radio technology schools for a more stable job in the future.

Good Compensation

After attending radiology technician schools, a high-paying job awaits you. Radiology technicians earn an annual salary of about $30,000 to $45,000. The rate of salary depends on which state you will be working as well as the salary rate set by the hospital, clinic, nursing home and other types of health facilities where you are employed.

Short-Term Courses Are Offered

In the past, the course for radiology technicians took 4 years to complete. Nowadays radiology technician schools already offer short-term courses where you can become a radiology technician in just 2 years. At the end of your 2-year course you will be given a certificate of completion. This 2-year course is a great option for individuals who are already working in the health care industry and just wish to shift to a new career as a radiology technician.

Plenty of Job Opportunities

Once you graduate from any of the best radiology technician schools there will be many job opportunities available for you. Working at a big hospital is not your only option. If you wish to work in a more laidback environment then you can apply for a job at small clinics, nursing homes and other small-sized health facilities.