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Diagnostic imaging

GE builds PACS repository in Northern Ontario

SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Pan Northern Ontario PACS Project (PNOP) has signed an agreement with GE Healthcare for the creation of a Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r) and longitudinal patient record across a sparsely populated region that spans an area larger than the state of Texas.

The agreement was made with support from Canada Health Infoway and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s eHealth Program.

GE will leverage its Centricity Enterprise Archive and Centricity OneView solutions for a commoninfrastructure that will consolidate patient images and information from multiple PACS at differentsites across Northern Ontario and allow the sharing of patient images and information.

“Only after an extensive evaluation that included live demonstrations was the GE Healthcare solution selected,” says Marc Bouchard, Chief Information and Chief Privacy officer with the Sault Area Hospital, one of the executive sponsors of the project. “We were very impressed with GE’s overall solution and how it aligned with our needs.”

With the DI-r in place, physicians will be able to access images and reports on studies that originated in other facilities, with the goal of improving the time to diagnosis and helping to increase the standard of care for all patients, regardless of location. The DI-r project helps build the foundation for the eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway initiative to create a pan-Provincial and eventually, a pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record (EHR).

GE will first establish the DI-r at two data centers located in the Northeast and Northwest Local Healthcare Integrated Networks (LHINs) to create a mirrored, redundant solution. The LHINs include nearly 40 health organizations that generate approximately 900,000 images each year. The central image and report repository will serve as a long-term archive for all images across the region.

“GE approached this project from a consultative standpoint to better understand the needs that PNOP laid forth,” says Mike Clarke, General Manager, GE Healthcare IT Canada, “and we are proud to be recognized for our ability to deliver solutions that meets and exceed their requirements.

“Leveraging our strengths as a developer and integrator, GE is seeking to help PNOP create a more efficient, cost-effective health system that is aligned with future technology models.”

GE Healthcare Canada President and CEO Peter Robertson said the solution being used in northern Ontario was first developed by GE Healthcare in southwestern Ontario, where North America’s largest multi-PACS network is already up and running.

Robertson said the systems used are world leading, and that GE Healthcare highlighted the made-in-Canada solution at the recent HIMSS conference in Chicago.

He predicts the Canadian technologies and processes will be used in the United States as it seeks to accelerate the use of computerized solutions in healthcare, particularly in light of the recent stimulus bill from Washington. The bill included US$19.2 billion to spur the use of IT in healthcare, with US$2 billion specifically earmarked for health IT networks.

About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping anew age of patient care. Our expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medicaldiagnostics, patient monitoring systems, performance improvement, drug discovery, andbiopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies is helping clinicians around the world re-imagine newways to predict, diagnose, inform, treat and monitor disease, so patients can live their lives to thefullest. GE Healthcare’s broad range of products and services enable healthcare providers to better diagnose and treat cancer, heart disease, neurological diseases and other conditions earlier. Our vision for the future is to enable a new “early health” model of care focused on earlier diagnosis, presymptomatic disease detection and disease prevention. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a $17 billion unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employs more than 46,000 people committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at