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Press Release

Completion of the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network Leverages GE Healthcare Technology

October 07, 2010

GE Provide Technological Backbone for Vendor Neutral, Pan-regional Diagnostic Imaging Repository

GE Healthcare announced today the successful completion of a vendor neutral Digital Imaging Repository (DI-r) that connects hospitals and medical centers throughout Southwestern Ontario (SWO), Canada, enabling the sharing of patient health data across the region. For the first time in Ontario's history, 26 hospital organizations in the Erie St. Clair and South West Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are able to share filmless diagnostic image exams between their facilities.

Today, the archive contains approximately 2.7M exams and grows, on average, by 120,000 new exams each month. These exams can be accessed by acute care facilities in these two LHINs, increasing healthcare providers' access to provide timely results for patients. Clinicians also have the ability to compare images to previous scans, enhancing the quality of information at the time of diagnosis. 

"The program is an integral part of Ontario's ehealth strategy," said Greg Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario, the organization responsible for implementing the provincial government's eHealth agenda. "Now radiologists, referring physicians and specialists across Southwestern Ontario can view images and results anywhere, anytime using the Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network. This repository is the first of its kind in North America."

The vision for this ambitious project is to eventually provide some of the infrastructure for the Canada Health Infoway (CHI) and eHealth Ontario initiatives to create a pan-Province and, eventually, pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record (EHR), providing Canadian clinicians a longitudinal patient view leveraging GE's Centricity® Enterprise Archive.

"Our customers continue to show that they are global leaders and innovators in healthcare," said Don Woodlock, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare IT. "Together, we work to solve today's healthcare challenges; improving the quality of care while expanding access and controlling costs. This project is a fabulous demonstration of how technology providers can collaborate with customers to develop healthcare solutions that serve the patient."

The complexity of this project is underscored by the number of vendors and their solutions: five Picture Archiving Communications System vendors, three Radiology Information System vendors, all feeding images and information into the DI-r backed by the interoperability technology from GE.  This collaboration enables radiologists to access images that originated in other facilities. Referring physicians can receive patient reports faster. Patients benefit from faster treatment planning, more informed diagnoses and a reduction in unnecessary transfers.

"This milestone illustrates GE's commitment to bringing communities together by bridging patients to providers and providers to each other," added Woodlock. "This is not the culmination of our efforts as a company but is, instead, an extraordinarily strong first step."

Corey Miller
GE Healthcare IT Global Public and Media Relations Manager
[email protected]

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