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Capital Health selects Agfa for region-wide PACS

EDMONTON – Capital Health announced that it has selected Agfa HealthCare, an international imaging company, to install an integrated information, image and speech recognition system that will schedule, order, manage, store and display both cardiology and radiology images.

In making its announcement, Capital Health becomes one of the first health regions in Canada to implement a fully integrated cardiology and radiology PACS system. In addition, Capital Health and Agfa have formed a unique public-private partnership with shared risk to guarantee the improved delivery of diagnostic imaging services.

The shared-risk partnership is not common in the Canadian marketplace, said Michael Green, vice-president, Agfa HealthCare, Canada. “We’re essentially guaranteeing the clinical, operational, financial and technical success of the system – a rarity in today’s marketplace.”

He added that a fully integrated cardiology and radiology imaging and information system is rarely installed in Canada because most current implementations don’t allow the two departments to easily share information.

“With the integrated system, the entire workflow for both radiology and cardiology will be streamlined, and the report turnaround time reduced by the speech recognition system,” said Donna Strating (pictured at left), Capital Health’s Chief Information Officer. “Giving our physicians and clinicians better information in a faster timeframe will only improve patient care and safety,” she said, adding that the overall cost of services will be reduced with the implementation of a filmless and paperless environment.

Capital Heath will become Agfa’s largest integrated RIS (Radiology Information System)/PACS (Picture Archiving & Communications System) and Speech Recognition installation in North America. Users will be able to access records and images region-wide through its electronic health record, netCARE. Capital Health performs more than 750,000 exams a year.

This joint partnership is the latest relationship Capital Health has established with private sector companies. Recently, the health region worked with a consortium of five technology companies to build netCARE, the region’s electronic health record. Capital Health is currently working with TELUS and Hewlett Packard to build a patient internet portal that will provide residents with access to their health information and other tools to manage their health and the health of their families.

Capital Health in Edmonton is Canada’s largest academic health region, providing complete health services to 1 million residents in the cities of Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Spruce Grove and St. Albert, and the counties of Leduc, Parkland, Strathcona and Sturgeon (and communities within their geographical areas), as well as the Town of Devon and communities in the eastern part of Yellowhead County.

Capital Health serves a total of 1.6 million people across central and northern Alberta, providing specialized services such as trauma and burn treatment, organ transplants and high-risk obstetrics.