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Infoway negotiates preferred solution agreements for DI

TORONTO – Canada Health Infoway has negotiated preferential conditions and pricing with information technology vendors for the benefit of provinces, territories and other public sector partners. The Canada-wide agreements, designed to accelerate there implementation of electronic health records, were signed with four diagnostic imaging solutions providers: Agfa Inc., Christie Group Ltd., McKesson Information Solutions Canada Company, and Philips Electronics Ltd., operating under the trade name of Philips Medical Systems Canada.

“On a national scale, this approach could help reduce the cost and the risk for provinces, territories and health regions to implement tools that can improve the quality and accessibility of our healthcare system,” said Richard Alvarez, Infoway’s president and CEO.

Diagnostic imaging (DI) systems allow X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans to be captured, viewed, stored and transmitted electronically from one site to another. These systems replace conventional X-ray film and greatly improve access to patient information by enabling referring clinicians to review patient images on computers from anywhere in a secure and confidential manner, resulting in cost savings, reduced need for patient transfers and reduced wait times.

While DI has significant benefits for healthcare providers and patients, DI systems are a significant investment, often costing tens of millions of dollars. “Given the cost and complexity of the systems, potential buyers want to be confident that they will deliver value and can effectively interoperate with other systems supporting their electronic health records,” added Alvarez.

The vendors with whom these agreements were signed have demonstrated an understanding of the requirements for the pan-Canadian electronic health record and a commitment to interoperability. These vendors will work with the eHealth Collaboratory, a leading-edge facility, to test the conformance of their solutions to pan-Canadian standards. “This is an excellent example of how vendors can work with Infoway and public sector partners to help make electronic health records a reality across Canada,” said Alvarez.

A key benefit of these types of agreements is that vendors will offer preferred pricing arrangements to the jurisdictions, as well as alternative pricing models such as provisions for a shared services approach, where several hospitals or regions share the same system. Vendors are also committed to providing service-level guarantees.

Infoway intends to sign similar agreements with other technology providers in line with its mission to accelerate the development of electronic health records. While Infoway believes that these agreements offer significant value, the decision to procure these solutions rests with the public sector partners.

About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway is an independent not-for-profit organization that invests with public sector partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health information systems. The aim is to create a safer, more efficient healthcare system. These solutions provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to complete and accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about treatment and diagnosis. The result is a sustainable, healthcare system offering improved quality, accessibility and productivity.