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Goderich hospital connects to hi-speed DI network

GODERICH, Ont. – A project that seemed like an impossible mission five years ago reached its culmination at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital (AMGH) in Goderich this month, as the centre celebrated its connection to the Southwest Ontario Digital Imaging Network Project, one of the world’s largest, most sophisticated medical digital imaging networks.

AMGH joins 13 other hospital organizations in Southwestern Ontario – a total of 18 separate hospital sites – linked to this network, which enables the sharing of diagnostic images among primary, secondary and tertiary care hospitals.

“This project is about leveraging technology to provide the best possible patient care right here in our home community,” said Bill Thibert, AMGH President and CEO. “The success of the project is largely due to the spirit of cooperation between all the hospitals engaged in this initiative.”

Funding for this project is from AMGH and its community, in partnership with Canada Health Infoway. “Today’s celebration is about providing clinicians with an innovative Diagnostic Imaging system that provides the tools and information they need to provide the care their patients deserve,” said Stella Skerlec, Group Program Director, Registries, Infostructure and Diagnostic Imaging, Canada Health Infoway.

“The PACS system is state of the art technology for our community,” said Dr. Julie Moore, AMGH Chief of Staff. “It produces digital images that are far superior to traditional film technology, and can be shared with consultants and specialists immediately. This allows us to provide efficient, seamless and timely service to our patients.”

Digital images are filmless – much like a digital camera. Digital imaging systems enable healthcare providers to view, manage, distribute and electronically store a patient’s exam images from x-ray, CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, MRIs, and PET scans, as well as medical files from any location connected through the system – regardless of where the test was conducted.

The PACS (picture archiving and communication system) captures, stores and sends images using digital technology.

This project is serving as a model for other health information network projects across Canada. Planning is under way to continue expanding this network to other Southwestern Ontario hospitals.

About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway is a federally funded, independent, not-for-profit organization that is leading the development and implementation of electronic health projects across Canada. Infoway works with provinces and territories to invest in electronic health projects, which support safer, more efficient healthcare delivery. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these private and secure systems provide healthcare professionals with immediate access to complete and accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about diagnosis and treatment. The result is a sustainable healthcare system offering improved quality, accessibility, productivity and cost savings.