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Archiving solution assists regional DI network

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Co. announced that the Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership, consisting of eight healthcare institutions in Southwestern Ontario, has implemented the HP Medical Archiving Solution as a cornerstone of its innovative Digital Imaging Network Project.

The project, one of the first IT shared services solutions in Canada, has already produced many benefits. The participating hospitals are improving access to imaging services and specialists, as well as mitigating the shortage of diagnostic imaging professionals in the province.

The solution is enabling the healthcare providers to quickly and securely access, share and store digital medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans, as well as eliminate the expensive use of film.

The HP Medical Archiving Solution is based on open standards for interoperability and offers the ability to create a single repository for secure PACS applications. Individual hospitals, imaging clinics or large hospital systems can share their infrastructure to house image types used in different PACS.

Users can integrate text-based information from health information systems, such as patient records and insurance data, into the solution and migrate images from various PACS to one centralized, consolidated, long-term storage solution.

The solution addresses the challenge of the growing volumes of image data and provides the flexibility to manage data distributed across tiers of storage, along with continuous, proactive data checking to ensure data integrity. It also assists healthcare organizations to comply with regulatory and privacy requirements for the storage, transmission and protection of patient data.

The Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership is composed of Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll; Four Counties Health Services in Newbury; London Health Sciences Centre; St. Joseph’s Health Care in London; St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital; Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital; Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital; and Woodstock General Hospital.

“We are transforming the delivery of patient services with this solution and through our collaborative efforts in the region,” said Diane Beattie (pictured), integrated vice president and chief information officer, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “HP has considerable experience and expertise in the healthcare sector, so we were very confident that they could support our mission to meet the needs of our communities with a patient-centred philosophy and innovative models of patient care.”

The imaging network reduces the need for radiologists and patients to travel or be transferred from one institution to another, as can be the case particularly in rural communities. The solution also allows for a full view of a patient’s medical history, making it easier to treat patients efficiently, affordably and reliably.

“We are improving patient care with our ability to access and exchange medical images and information. Patients don’t have to wait for images to be developed and manually transferred. They are immediately available for review, even from a remote site,” said Dr. Donald Taves, chief of radiology, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and professor, University of Western Ontario. “Now, a patient can leave the department after the images have been taken knowing that the specialist will be able to review and then discuss their case promptly. No lost or misplaced film is an added benefit.”

Patient management is enhanced through the tracking of order status and the greater availability of radiologists. Film searches have been eliminated and procedure duplications greatly reduced which increases productivity and saves time. Storage space requirements have been drastically reduced and, for example, London Health Sciences Centre has achieved $1.2 million in film savings alone.

The Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership was formed to co-operatively explore the feasibility of integrating and sharing strategic healthcare services and priorities, including diagnostic imaging, clinical care, laboratory systems and capital planning.

The TVHPP project is funded by Canada Health Infoway, an independent, not-for-profit corporation that supports the development of electronic health information systems across the country, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Planning is under way by the Southwest Ontario Digital Imaging Network Project to build on the success of the TVHPP project and expand the shared imaging network to other Southwestern Ontario area hospitals. Details of this expansion will be finalized over the next 12 months.

“HP is committed to providing IT solutions that enable access to critical information among all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, while also driving operational efficiencies, improving productivity and reducing costs,” said Randy Ostojic, vice president, sales, HP Canada. “With the HP Medical Archiving Solution, healthcare organizations can simplify their IT environments and integrate new technologies and processes to more effectively adapt to clinical and regulatory changes, and ultimately improve patient care and safety.”

HP teamed on the project with GE Healthcare, a major provider of transformational medical technologies, and Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of healthcare information technology. GE Healthcare is providing the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) and Cerner is providing its Cerner Millennium platform for electronic patient records and radiology.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company’s offerings span IT infrastructure, global services, business and home computing, and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Oct. 31, 2005, HP revenue totaled $86.7 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at