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LHSC and St. Joe’s integrate images, voice and data

LONDON, Ont. – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London (SJHC), announced they have deployed a Cisco Medical-Grade Network to transform radiology and imaging services.

LHSC and SJHC are currently offering diagnostic imaging and radiology services across seven hospital facilities and three family medical centres in London, Ontario.

Planning is under way to expand the reach of the e-radiology services to an additional 41 community and rural hospitals across southwestern Ontario that are members of the Videocare telemedicine project. The London hospitals are also leveraging the Medical-Grade Network to deploy Cisco IP Communications and wireless solutions.

A component of the Cisco Medical-Grade Network, the Cisco e-Radiology solution, enables images to be stored and accessed online to provide real-time, anywhere access to radiological studies.

By converging data, images and voice onto a single infrastructure, implementation and management costs are reduced, reliability and availability are improved, and real-time access to patient images is available for faster diagnosis and treatment.

“Working with Cisco Systems, we were able to design and deploy the right network infrastructure to ensure our radiology and diagnostic imaging is second to none,” says Diane Beattie, integrated vice president of health information and CIO for the London hospitals. “Having a Medical-Grade Network is absolutely essential to sharing information across a large number of facilities, securely and reliably.”

Peter Gilbert, director of Information Technology Services for the London Hospitals agrees: “Our Cisco Medical-Grade Network allows us to provide an even higher level of service with the same number of people and that means reduced costs. Standardizing on a single converged network has allowed us to spend more time developing new applications that support the medical community.”

“By delivering resiliency, security, responsiveness and connectivity, Cisco’s Medical-Grade Network addresses the unique requirements of the 24x7 healthcare environment,” said Brantz Myers, director of enterprise marketing at Cisco Systems Canada. “London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care are using IP-based technology to drive new services and applications that are improving patient care, organizational efficiency and employee productivity.”

The London hospitals system’s network is based on optical, routing, switching, security and IP Communications technology from Cisco. The Cisco Medical-Grade Network is an industry model that defines an optimized network for healthcare delivery based on recommended best practices for real-time collaboration, resiliency, security, responsiveness and connectivity.

Transformation Radiology

Dr. Donald Taves, chief of radiology at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London believes a connected network is the basis of the new imaging department. “There’s no doubt the network is already successful,” says Taves. “Our radiologists’ productivity is at a level we’ve never experienced before. It’s a transformational improvement in the way we address patient care.”

Now when images are taken, they are immediately available for the diagnosing physician. Within minutes, the images are linked with the report and associated with the patient’s file. At the same time, they are available to the doctors and other caregivers involved with the patient – whether in the Emergency Department or in surgery. Future plans include making these images available in the family practitioner’s office and in the patient’s community hospital.

A Foundation for Innovation

The London hospitals’ newly constructed data centre was the first to convert entirely to Cisco wireless and IP-based communications, making it the hospitals’ first “all-IP” building, with the back-up data centre to follow in spring 2005.

More than 17,000 workstations and telephone sets are connected to the network within the London hospital system. As they are migrated to the IP network over time, the hospitals will eliminate the costs of private branch exchange (PBX) maintenance agreements and upgrades and be able to focus on delivering even more services directly to users’ telephone sets.

Many new applications are under development, such as Cisco Emergency Responder, a 911 application that will pin-point the caller’s exact location on the operator’s screen.

An integrated Nurse Call application will deliver patient information to a handheld device, and open a two-way conversation between nurse and the attending physician. The hospital’s warehouse environment will soon go wireless, enabling just-in-time inventory and ordering from the warehouse floor.

Cisco Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc., has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales and service. In addition, Cisco has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Information on Cisco can be found at