Joseph Brant Memorial and St. Mary's General Hospital join Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network

December 8, 2010 (Burlington, ON) - Patients and physicians in Burlington and Kitchener are benefitting from quick access to electronic diagnostic images now that Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital and St. Mary's General Hospital have connected to the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN), the largest diagnostic imaging repository (DI-r) in use in Ontario to date.

The network is one of four across the province that enables participating health care facilities to electronically store, retrieve and share patient diagnostic health information such as X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs. Annually, SWODIN will manage more than 3 million exams.

Mohawk Shared Services Inc. (MSS) has established a Diagnostic Imaging Division and will work with the participating organizations in Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) & Waterloo Wellington (WW) Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN)s to connect them to the SWODIN DI-r over the next 18 months.

"Transitioning from seeing only our Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital digital radiology images to seeing all of the hospitals' images in real-time within the LHINs has gone very smoothly. The JBMH Radiology and IT Department's skill and hard work has really paid off and led to the success of the project which had no issues at go live. The data repository in the longer term will lead to improved real time physician collaboration, improved quality of care through the need for fewer repeat images and improved patient safety. The model and its success is one that really should be shared with other healthcare sectors." said James Crumb, Director Clinical Support Services at JBMH. Both institutions join a growing list of health care facilities in the HNHB LHIN to connect to SWODIN. To date, seven health care systems representing 27 hospitals are sharing their diagnostic images via the repository.

"Burlington and Kitchener residents will greatly benefit from having their diagnostic images available digitally because it will help speed up diagnosis and treatment," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Across Canada, hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and efficiencies are being realized every year thanks to the investments made to digitize images such as x-rays, CT scans and ultrasound."

Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) has provided $35 million and eHealth Ontario has provided $26 million in funding to support the transfer of diagnostic images and reports between the health care organizations in Southwestern Ontario. The project is part of the Ontario government's ehealth agenda and Infoway's vision for a pan-Canadian electronic health record system.

"We are proud to provide the network and be a funding partner of an initiative which advances health care delivery and benefits Ontarians," said Greg Reed, President and CEO, eHealth Ontario. "This project illustrates how collaboration within the health care system can improve patient care."

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record projects in Canada.

Benefits of the repository include:

  • Secure, quick and easy access by clinicians and radiologists to patients' diagnostic imaging records, allowing them to diagnose regardless of the location of the patient and where the images were taken
  • Enhanced clinician collaboration and knowledge transfer, resulting in better treatment, fewer retakes and a reduction in radiation exposure
  • Quicker treatment for patients thanks to the ability of specialists at different facilities to now share images faster and discuss and develop treatment plans concurrently
  • Additional functionality including superior image quality and the ability to zoom in and out on an image.

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For more information contact:

David Veeneman
Manager - PACS / DI-r, Regional Shared Service
Tel.: (519) 685-8500 Ext. 57199

Diane Larwood
General Manager, Diagnostic Imaging Repository Division
Mohawk Shared Services
Tel.: (519) 685-8500 Ext. 57199

Heather Brown,
Communications Advisor, eHealth Ontario
Tel.: (905) 633-3899 Ext. 2704

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