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Diagnostic imaging

Southwest Ontario DI system to reach more hospitals

GE Healthcare, based in Mississauga, Ont., has signed an agreement with the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) to expand its existing Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r) to include hospitals in the Waterloo-Wellington and Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant Local Health Integrated Networks (LHINs).

“Over the last few years the hospitals in LHIN 3 and 4 have worked together to create a shared and collaborative environment,” says Murray Glendining, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Hamilton Health Sciences and Regional CIO, HNHB LHIN.

“The DI-r is the first of many projects that will help implement electronic health records (EHRs) for the patients in our communities, and provide caregivers access to patient information as they seek to improve the quality of care, clinical decision making, and clinical collaboration. The LHIN 3-4 DI-r initiative is aligned with the provincial eHealth strategy and is supported by eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway.”

LHIN 3 and 4 will add 26 hospital sites, 12 RIS and PACS, and 1.5 million exams to the SWO DI-r, raising the total number of exams across all four LHINs managed by the DI-r to over 3 million per year.

GE will integrate data from five different PACS vendors, plus Centricity PACS, and two RIS vendors into the repository. GE’s DI-r is designed to accept images and reports from any PACS vendor and allows clinicians access to patient information, regardless of the native PACS that originally captured the data.

“The DI-r is a major breakthrough in the use of electronic tools to deliver a higher quality of care to patients wherever they are located,” says David A. Koff, MD, Chief, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hamilton Health Sciences and Associate Professor and Chair Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. “The benefits for physicians and patients are invaluable – we will save precious time and resources as we look to avoid redundancies and access prior examinations in our attempt to speed up diagnosis and treatment.”

Once complete, the project will connect LHINs 1, 2, 3, and 4 with a common DI-r, giving clinicians at more than 50 health facilities the ability to share images and reports and access historical information to view a longitudinal patient record via Centricity OneView. As a result, patients in remote areas will have access to radiology specialists and the added convenience to seek care at any facility in the broad geography covered by the four LHINs. The DI-r will serve more than 3.5 million people.

“GE is honored that this additional project was awarded based upon our prior success in LHIN 1 and 2, and our ability to leverage existing technologies to assist providers in seeking to reduce infrastructure costs and create a new, customized solution,” says Mike Clarke, General Manager, GE Healthcare IT Canada. “We are committed to providing LHIN 3 and 4 a path to the latest technology that also aligns with current healthcare trends, such as regionalization and virtualization to further enhance the delivery of high-quality and efficient patient care.”

eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway are funding the project. eHealth Ontario is a provincial government organization leading the efforts in harnessing information technology and innovation to improve patient care, safety, and access in support of the government’s health strategy. Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government to invest in every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of EHR projects in Canada.

Mohawk Shared Services will act as contract manager for the DI-r on behalf of the participating hospitals. They will work with hospital staff and provide resources through the DI-r Project Management Office to ensure a smooth transition to the DI-r. Mohawk Shared Services is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing business support solutions which standardize processes, increase efficiencies and reduce costs to 35 hospitals and long-term care facilities in southern Ontario.

About GE Healthcare
 GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality and efficiency around the world. 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