Nova Scotia aims at province-wide PACS
The Nova Scotia Department of Health is investing more than $800,000 in
PACS technology and DI equipment at the Guysborough Antigonish Strait
Health Authority, as part of the provincial Picture Archive and
Communications System (PACS) expansion project.
The project will replace nearly all film-based imaging in the province
with faster, safer and more streamlined processes.
PACS gives physicians instant access to results of diagnostic imaging
tests including CT scans and ultrasounds. Most of the Guysborough
Antigonish Strait Health Authority will be able to produce digital
images using computerized radiology equipment. All components of PACS in
the health authority were expected to be up and running in July.
“Expanding PACS across the province is one more way that we are
modernizing our health system to provide safer, faster health care to
Nova Scotians,” said acting Health Minister Jamie Muir. “Districts with
the PACS in place have seen improvements in the time it takes to get
diagnostic results to physicians, allowing them to make quicker
The PACS expansion began with Annapolis Valley Health in early 2005,
followed recently by South Shore Health and now Guysborourgh Antigonish
Straight Health Authority. The expansion is expected to be completed by
summer 2006, which will make Nova Scotia home to the largest
province-wide PACS installation of in Canada.
“PACS, along with the new computerized radiology equipment, brings
increased efficiency to our work, which has a significant impact on the
care patients receive,” said Dr. Mike Silver, a radiologist at St.
Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish.
“For example, in the case of a hip injury, the X-ray will be instantly
available to the orthopedic surgeon, regardless of whether the surgeon
is in New Glasgow, Sydney or Halifax. This allows them to make quicker
decisions about whether or not a patient requires surgery.”
“This is great news for the patients in our district,” said Guysborough
Antigonish Strait Health Authority CEO Kevin MacDonald. “Our diagnostic
staff, physicians, in collaboration with the Department of Health, have
worked very hard to make this happen.”
The PACS expansion project is a partnership between the health districts
in Nova Scotia, the Department of Health and Canada Health Infoway, an
independent, not-for-profit corporation that provides strategic
investments to accelerate the implementation of the electronic health
record across Canada. The project began in 2004 at a total cost of $25
million. Canada Health Infoway funds 75 percent of specific elements of
the projects that meet its funding criteria.