June 22, 2009 - GE Healthcare has signed an agreement with the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) to expand its existing Diagnostic Imaging Repository (DI-r), anchored by Centricity Enterprise Archive, to the participating hospitals in Waterloo-Wellington and Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant Local Health Integrated Networks (LHIN).
“Over the last few years the hospitals in LHIN 3 and 4 have worked together to create a shared and collaborative environment,” says Murray Glendining, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Hamilton Health Sciences and Regional CIO, HNHB LHIN. “The DI-r is the first of many projects that will help implement electronic health records (EHRs) for the patients in our communities, and provide caregivers access to patient information as they seek to improve the quality of care, clinical decision making, and clinical collaboration. The LHIN 3-4 DI-r initiative is aligned with the provincial eHealth strategy and is supported by eHealthOntario and Canada Health Infoway.”
LHIN 3 and 4 will add 26 hospital sites, 12 RIS and PACS, and 1.5 million exams to the SWO DI-r, raising the total number of exams across all four LHINs managed by the DI-r to over 3 million per year. GE will integrate data from five different PACS vendors, plus Centricity PACS, and two RIS vendors into the repository. GE’s DI-r is unique in that it accepts images and reports from any PACS vendor and allows clinicians access to patient information regardless of the native PACS that originally captured the data.
“The DI-r is a major breakthrough in the use of electronic tools to deliver a higher quality of care to patients wherever they are located,” says David A. Koff, M.D., chief of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Hamilton Health Sciences and Associate professor and chair of the Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. “The benefits for physicians and patients are invaluable – we will save precious time and resources as we look to avoid redundancies and access prior examinations in our attempt to speed up diagnosis and treatment.”
Once complete, the project will connect LHINs 1, 2, 3, and 4 with a common DI-r, giving clinicians at more than 50 health facilities the ability to share images and reports and access historical information to view a longitudinal patient record via Centricity OneView. As a result, patients in remote areas will have access to radiology specialists and the added convenience to seek care at any facility in the broad geography covered by the four LHINs. The DI-r will serve more than 3.5 million people.
eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway fund the project. eHealth Ontario is a provincial government organization leading the efforts in harnessing information technology and innovation to improve patient care, safety, and access in support of the government’s health strategy. Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government to invest in every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of EHR projects in Canada.
For more information: www.gehealthcare.com