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Diagnostic imaging

McKesson to supply PACS to Montreal hospitals

MONTREAL – McKesson announced that it has been awarded a $64 million, eight-year contract to implement advanced medical imaging technologies across Quebec’s two largest hospital networks.

McKesson Canada will provide its Horizon Medical Imaging picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to the 43 hospital facilities within the regions of the Réseau universitaire intégré de santé McGill University and Réseau universitaire intégré de santé de l’Université de Montréal.

These hospital-affiliated groups are known as RUIS McGill and RUIS Montréal. In total, they serve 60% of Quebec’s population.

The official announcement of the projects was made by the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, an agency of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services),

The McKesson Canada team will also lead the development of a large-scale DI repository (DI-r) for centralized image archiving services, and will capitalize on the interoperability offered by Horizon Medical Imaging to connect the 43 RUIS McGill and RUIS Montréal facilities with 52 other Quebec hospitals within the assigned territory. This DI-r will link a total of 95 hospitals, covering more than six million examinations annually.

The agreement is designed to create multiple shared PACS environments to support faster, more informed diagnoses by giving physicians, even in remote areas, easy access to a patient’s image history online – regardless of where the exams originated.

For example, a general practitioner in northern Quebec and a specialist in Montreal could review a diagnostic image together electronically, with no need for the patient to travel hundreds of miles. The project is part of a Canada-wide DI-r initiative funded by Canada Health Infoway.

The Horizon Medical Imaging system lets radiologists, surgeons and other caregivers electronically capture, retrieve, view and store medical images – including ultrasound and multi-slice CT (computed tomography) – at multiple locations. The system provides enhanced information access, quicker turnaround times and improved patient safety.

“Our partners and I are delighted to be chosen as the PACS supplier for RUIS McGill and RUIS Montréal,” says Yves Portelance, Vice-President and General Manager, McKesson Canada Integrated Healthcare Solutions. “This latest success is the product of our integrated approach to healthcare solutions. We are equally enthusiastic about our role in the Quebec diagnostic imaging repository development, which will provide secure, high-volume, long-term storage, permitting retrieval at any connected workstation throughout Quebec.”

“The selection of our system validates its advanced capabilities, as well as its ability to integrate with diverse modalities and systems such as ultrasound and digital radiography technology,” adds Rod O’Reilly, Vice-President and General Manager, McKesson Medical Imaging Group. “It also speaks to our company’s experience and strong track record of swift implementations with minimal disruption to ongoing operations. We are honoured to be able to contribute to the technical foundation for a Quebec and pan-Canadian electronic health record.”

The regional PACS and DI-r project calls for a two-year implementation that will initially focus on the deployment of the PACS, while the DI-r deployment will begin later this year.

The project includes systems from McKesson Canada, hardware and services from Hewlett Packard Canada, and software and services from DeJarnette Research Systems Inc.

DeJarnette’s xDL (Cross-Enterprise Document Librarian) software will serve as the DICOM and HL-7 gateways and database of the DI-r. The company’s Intelligent Router will be used to provide DICOM access to some of the proprietary non-McKesson legacy PACS, deployed throughout the province.

All participating hospitals will send copies of patient exams and report data to the DI-r for permanent storage, providing ready access for any other participating provider. For data protection, a mirrored DI-r will be installed in a separate data centre location and programmed to replicate information across locations.

About McKesson Canada
Founded more than 100 years ago, McKesson is a leading provider of logistics as well as information products and services within the Canadian healthcare marketplace. McKesson Canada carries more than 35,000 products, in 17 distribution centers, and provides logistics and distribution to more than 800 manufacturers – delivering their products to 6,300 retail pharmacies, 1,350 hospitals, long-term care centers, clinics and institutions throughout Canada. Beyond pharmaceutical distribution, McKesson Canada has provided automation services for 2,500 retail pharmacies; and is also active in hospital automation solutions, dispensing more than 100 million doses each year. The company also provides a full range of services to Canadian manufacturers and healthcare providers, contributing to the quality and safety of care for Canadian patients. McKesson Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of McKesson Corporation of San Francisco.