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Diagnostic imaging

Niagara Health hospitals to install Agfa’s latest PACS

ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – Agfa HealthCare announced that the Niagara Health System in southern Ontario has become the first customer in Canada to implement Agfa’s new web-deployable IMPAX 6.0 integrated PACS (Picture Archive and Communications System) and Voice Recognition solution.

Additionally, Niagara Health System will utilize Agfa’s CR (Computed Radiography) system to acquire, process, and generate digital X-ray images.

Niagara Health System will use Agfa’s new IMPAX 6.0 for the acquisition, storage, and distribution of more than 300,000 exams and reports generated annually.

The IMPAX application will be available via the web to almost any secure Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) computer workstation. Electronically sharing these images and reports across all connected sites will allow authorized users – including physicians, specialists and radiologists – at any location to quickly view current and prior exams, regardless of the site from which the exams were acquired.

Implementation planning is already under way with core servers to be installed in early December. The first phase will see the St. Catharines General site moving towards filmless and paperless operations, with additional Niagara Health System sites implemented in a phased approach during 2006.

“The new IMPAX platform and its functionality will help us in three main ways. First, it will allow us to report almost any exam from any location; second, it will help us handle our increasing workload more efficiently; and third, it will help us attract and retain quality staff,” noted Dr. Amit Mehta (pictured at left), chief radiologist for the St. Catharines General Site.

“Additionally, consultations can occur in a much quicker fashion, since the caregivers no longer need to be in the same location, as is often the requirement with film.”

After an exhaustive review of potential vendors, Agfa was the unanimous selection of the Niagara Health System five-member PACS committee.

“When we considered Agfa’s success and stability, the company’s track record for successful implementations, the functionality of the new system and an extremely impressive global R&D centre in Waterloo, Ont., it was clear that Agfa was the right vendor,” said Bonnie Sipos, regional director of diagnostics, Niagara Health System.

IMPAX 6.0’s features, navigation tools, and display modes are designed in a flexible and intuitive way so that they can be tailored to individual preferences. The implementation at Niagara Health System is expected to dramatically streamline processes and improve report turnaround time, increase physician satisfaction and create efficiencies that are beneficial to both the Niagara Health System and its patients.

“We are very proud that Niagara Health selected Agfa’s new PACS and voice recognition solutions. We’re looking forward to working together on this implementation to ensure that the hospital system speedily realizes the efficiency benefits and improvements in clinical care,” said Michael Green, vice president, Agfa HealthCare, Canada.

For more than 10 years, Agfa’s RIS (Radiology Information System) and PACS solutions have been installed worldwide; Agfa’s RIS and PACS installations throughout Canada range from the smallest rural setting to the largest urban multi-site centres.