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Diagnostic imaging

Infoway, GE reach agreement for DI solutions

TORONTO – Canada Health Infoway announced that it has negotiated preferential conditions and pricing with GE Healthcare Canada through a Preferred Solution Agreement for their Centricity Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) and Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r).

PACS refers to systems that allow X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans to be captured, viewed and transmitted electronically from one site to another. These systems replace conventional X-ray film and greatly improve access to patient information. Diagnostic imaging repositories provide a secure environment for the storage and retrieval of diagnostic images and reports.

“The project investments made in diagnostic imaging are translating into real-time benefits and progress in diagnosis and treatment, providing clinicians and patients with more accurate results and reduced wait times,” said Richard Alvarez, Infoway’s president and CEO.

Through an Infoway project investment, British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority demonstrated an average 41 percent decrease in turnaround time for radiology results since the implementation of PACS. Similar technology provided by GE Healthcare at the province’s Fraser Health Authority uncovered millions in annual cost savings by reducing film costs and storage space and increasing productivity.

By 2010, Canadians will benefit from improved radiology services made possible by digital diagnostic imaging in all provinces and territories.

A key element of the Canada-wide agreement is preferential pricing for jurisdictions who implement a shared service where several hospitals agree to use a common PACS and DI-r infrastructure. GE Healthcare’s commitment to adhere to pan-Canadian standards, and applicable privacy and security requirements, is covered in the agreement.

“This agreement will benefit our jurisdictional partners by reducing the cost and risk of implementing PACS and DI-r solutions,” added Alvarez.

The Canada-wide agreement will help accelerate the implementation of electronic health records, making it simpler for provinces and territories to acquire a diagnostic imaging solution. GE Healthcare Canada joins Agfa Healthcare, Christie Group Ltd., McKesson Information Solutions, and Philips Healthcare as preferred solution providers for diagnostic imaging.

Infoway’s Preferred Solution Agreements show that participating vendors like GE Healthcare have a deep understanding of the pan-Canadian EHR and the need to adopt established standards to ensure interoperability. While Infoway believes that these agreements offer significant value, the selection of specific vendors rests with the individual province or territory.

At the end of fiscal 2007/08, Infoway invested $316 million in 21 diagnostic imaging projects, currently completed or still in progress, across eight provinces and one territory. This is part of 254 electronic health record projects, representing $1.457 billion in investment since Infoway’s inception.

About Canada Health Infoway
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the Federal government. Infoway jointly invests in projects with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record systems in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, this network of systems will provide clinicians and patients with a faster way to manage, access, share and safeguard patient health information. Accessing this vital information quickly will foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.