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Peterborough buys DI gear from Philips in $13 million deal

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – The Peterborough Regional Health Centre has announced the purchase of $13.3 million worth of diagnostic imaging equipment, including two, 64-slice CT scanners, leading-edge instruments for interventional radiology, 3D ultrasound, MRI and other modalities.

“It’s state-of-the-art equipment in all modalities, and it will leave us second to none,” said Nancy Davis (pictured), DI Manager for Peterborough Regional Health. “It’s as advanced as the equipment used at teaching centres in the Greater Toronto Area.”

Purchased from Philips Canada, the machinery will go into the new Peterborough hospital, which is currently under construction and is scheduled open its doors to patients in May 2008.

Recently, Peterborough Regional Health also acquired three DR units – from Siemens Canada, and four CR devices – from Agfa Canada. Moreover, earlier this year, it implemented an Agfa PACS as part of the Toronto East Network (TEN), a regional diagnostic imaging initiative.

“We still used film until our PACS went live on January 31 this year,” said Davis. “Our plan is to be filmless for at least one year before moving to the new hospital, in order to be comfortable with the technology and the new workflow.”

The larger hospital capacity – there will be 494 beds at the new centre, up from 370 at the two existing facilities – and the high-powered imaging technology will position Peterborough Regional Health to better deal with a growing population and increasing demand for medical services.

Peterborough is surrounded by cottage country and scenic towns, and is prime territory for retirees. “We have a relatively high percentage of elderly people and complex cases,” said Davis. As a result, “We also have one of the busiest emergency departments in the province.”

Imaging volume is expected to climb to 140,000 exams annually within three years, up from 115,000 last year.

Along with the leading-edge DI technology that has been acquired, the hospital is being constructed with many advanced features that are designed to enhance workflow and patient care.

For example, the two interventional radiology suites in the new centre are being built to operating room standards. “Many operative procedures will be done in the angio suites,” said Davis. That’s expected to relieve pressure on the OR and help reduce wait times for patients.

Moreover, the radiology department will have a 14-bed prep and recovery area; as a result, patients won’t have to be shuttled back and forth to the surgical floor.

Peterborough Regional Health currently has 16 radiologists – full and part-time – at its two sites. They also provide coverage for hospitals in nearby Lindsay and Haliburton.

Not only will the acquisition of leading-edge equipment provide patients with advanced diagnoses and treatments, but it will also help the hospital retain and attract radiologists, said Davis.

Peterborough Regional Health didn’t originally plan to buy most of its modalities from a single vendor, but when testing the equipment, the majority of its radiologists and technologists preferred the Philips solutions.

“We had an evaluation team for every modality,” said Davis. “We didn’t anticipate going with a single vendor, but we found that with Philips, there was a solution that would meet or exceed our requirements for each of the modalities.”

The large purchase is bringing some additional benefits, including special access to training and service resources from Philips. And because of the advanced applications, Peterborough will become a showcase site, demonstrating leading-edge techniques to healthcare professionals from other healthcare organizations.

That creates an incentive from both Philips and Peterborough to ensure the applications are kept up-to-date, and that new innovations are put to use at the centre.

“Technology changes so rapidly,” said Davis. “We’re creating a partnership, so there will be continuous change and we stay current with the latest solutions.”