February 25, 2010 Ottawa (ON) - On February 24th 2010, Queensway Carleton Hospital became the first hospital in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to start sending patient information to the Northern and Eastern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (NEODIN), a repository of medical images and associated diagnostic reports that will connect to hospitals throughout Northern and Eastern Ontario. The Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital and Kemptville District Hospital were also connected to NEODIN on February 24 via Queensway Carleton, the hub hospital.
The project is funded by eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway). It is aligned with the digital imaging strategy and e-health strategy of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, eHealth Ontario’s ehealth implementation strategy and the electronic health record vision of Infoway.
“We are proud to be a funding partner on an initiative that advances health care delivery and benefits Ontarians,” said Ray Hession, chairman, board of directors, eHealth Ontario. This is a perfect example of how collaboration within the health care system can deliver results that improve patient care.
“This is a major step forward in our efforts to modernize, the way we exchange medical information throughout the health care system,” said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway. “NEODIN will help hospitals gain efficiencies, and will allow doctors to diagnose more quickly, so patients can get the care they need sooner.”
This project is an important part of a broader initiative to bring an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to Ontario that will one day connect to the rest of Canada. NEODIN will improve health care delivery by providing doctors with access to diagnostic images from many facilities, allowing them a more comprehensive view of a patient’s diagnostic history.
Shawn O’Rourke, Manager of Diagnostic Imaging at Queensway Carleton Hospital states, “This project began in August 2007 at a first meeting in the Ottawa LHIN offices. Since then it has grown from concept to reality and this was achieved through the dedication to a better patient experience, and the skills and commitment of teams from Queensway Carleton Hospital and the NEODIN project group. Ultimately, the patient always comes first. When this is our focus, our goals and end results are achieved.”
NEODIN is one of four diagnostic imaging repositories (DI-r) being implemented in Ontario. A DI-r, enables diagnostic images and reports to be shared between facilities, eliminating the need for patients to transport images and reports between doctors on CDs, films, or by fax. It also allows specialists at one facility to access the reports for images acquired at other hospitals allowing for faster and more convenient information sharing between doctors. This improved access to patient information will help health care providers make more informed and timely medical decisions. In addition to improving medical access to patient information, it is anticipated that NEODIN will help reduce duplicate testing that results from lost, misplaced or otherwise unavailable images.
Ultimately, NEODIN will connect a large portion of Ontario. When completed in 2011, 59 hospitals from the North West, North East and Champlain LHINs, servicing almost two million people across 840,000 square kilometres from the Manitoba border in the West to Cornwall and Hawkesbury in the East, will be able to seamlessly share patient images and reports.
From an operations perspective, the NEODIN DI-r will help eliminate costly disaster recovery and redundancy currently managed by each individual hospital. The hub and spoke model which pairs small facilities to larger ones allows for cost effective strategies of larger sites maintaining PACS Administration and DI-r admin services to small sites who otherwise cannot afford to dedicate full time IS PACS resources.
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