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Pat Ryan joins southern Ontario's HDIRS

TORONTO – Health IT industry veteran Pat Ryan (pictured) has joined HDIRS, the Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Service, as General Manager.

The Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services (HDIRS) diagnostic imaging project is a joint initiative by 23 hospital corporations to share diagnostic images and reports across 33 Ontario hospital sites.

Formerly known as the Toronto East Network (TEN), the HDIRS project is part of the Canadian Health Infoway initiative to accelerate the implementation of reliable and secure health information systems, leading to the eventual goal of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) for every Canadian.

Most recently, Pat Ryan served as CEO for RSHIP, (Alberta’s Regional Shared Health Information Program Ltd.), where he led the deployment of a single shared HIS, including financial applications, among seven of Alberta’s nine Health Authorities. The shared systems are now hosted on a single, state of the art Data Centre.

HDIRS and RSHIP have a number of similarities. They are based on the premise that organizations will gain financial and service benefits from an interdependent relationship. Both initiatives invoke substantial change effects upon organizations, culture and individual employees. Both organizations require a forward thinking, strong Governance model to ensure the member interests are protected through time and evolution.

Prior to his role at RSHIP, Mr. Ryan led the amalgamation of IMIT services for British Columbia’s $2.3 billion Interior Health Authority. This involved the merger of 19 legal entities, 240 service locations and the decommissioning of 54 data centres. The cost of the 14 month financial application consolidation was $3.2 million (one time) and this yielded recurring annual savings of $4.3 million to the organization. A single HIS was also deployed in less than 3 years, yielding a single MPI for approximately 2 million patients.

Mr. Ryan believes that public organizations should seriously consider forming shared services organizations to meet their current and future needs. Today’s computing power and fiber speed no longer necessitates local solutions.

Meanwhile, back in Toronto, in February it was announced that Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of IT-enabled clinical workflow and diagnostic imaging solutions, and Teranet, a leading provider of integrated land-based information products, had launched a new Diagnostic Imaging Data Centre and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services for the HDIRS project.

Donald Stokes, Healthcare Business Lead at Teranet, said: “This innovative project is a clear example of how Teranet’s secure electronic services can benefit medical care while increasing efficiencies and reducing costs for health administrators. We are excited to support Ontario’s eHealth goals, and to work with Agfa HealthCare to bring those goals to fruition.”

According to Michael Green, Regional Manager, IT Business Division, Agfa HealthCare Canada, “the Ontario-based HDIRS project is a vital undertaking, as shared electronic patient information is a huge piece of the eHealth puzzle. This project is a huge leap forward toward achieving Canada’s EMR goals, and will help healthcare organizations improve the delivery of patient care while improving the security of medical records.”