Whanganui Hospital's Radiology Department awarded international accreditation
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13 June 2013
 
Following a rigorous audit of all its specialities, Whanganui Hospital’s Radiology Department has been awarded international accreditation (IANZ).
 
It’s the first time in many years that the department has met IANZ standards and radiology clinical manager Lisa Brown is keen that they continue to do so.
 
Ms Brown says knowing Whanganui’s Radiology Department has reached the high standards achieved by radiology departments worldwide is not only pleasing but it is also significant.
 
“I’m sure our IANZ accreditation will be noticed by clinical staff applying for, or thinking of applying for positions at Whanganui Hospital,” Ms Brown says
 
“And given that radiology services are accessed by many disciplines, the standard of our work affects many clinical staff.
 
“I’m sure patients using our services will also appreciate that we have been awarded international accreditation.”
 
Ms Brown says IANZ has to be renewed every two years and the auditing process is robust.
 
A number of auditors covering each radiology speciality spend three days onsite reviewing every detail of the radiology service.
 
“I and my team feel a huge sense of achievement now that we’ve been awarded accreditation,” Ms Brown says. “It’s involved a lot of hard work and determination to get there.”
 
Part of that effort has also resulted in the team moving closer to achieving ‘gold standard’ waiting times for diagnostic tests thanks to radiology staff offering to work extended hours. CT and MRI scans are now available from 7am to 9pm, three days a week.

Minister of Health Tony Ryall has told all DHBs that by 2016, 95 percent of patients must receive MRI and CT scans within six weeks.

Ms Brown says Whanganui is among the leading DHBs for waiting times. Currently, 83.9 per cent of patients are getting their CT scans within six weeks, and 79.7 per cent of patients are getting MRI scans within six weeks.

Whanganui Hospital’s Radiology Department has five staff working on CT scans and five working on MRI scans. There are 25 radiographers in total in the department.

The Government invested $16 million in the 2012 Budget over four years for faster diagnostic test wait times. In some parts of the country, patients can wait up to 35 weeks for a non-urgent MRI.