February 4, 2011 (Sudbury, ON) - Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital, Timmins District Hospital and 22 other sites in Ontario's north have become the most recent hospitals to complete their integration to the Northern and Eastern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network's diagnostic imaging repository (NEODIN DI-r).
The integration of these hospitals marks the completion of the DI-r network for Ontario's two northern Local Health Integration Networks and includes the integration of Ontario's most northern imaging department - Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory.
"With the addition of the hospitals in north eastern Ontario to the NEODIN DI-r, we are celebrating the completion of the northern portion of this important electronic health network," said Patrick Harkins, NEODIN Director. "Upon finishing the Ottawa area portion of the network later this spring, the NEODIN DI-r will allow for the seamless sharing of patient images and reports between hospitals across a network that reaches from the Manitoba border in the northwest to Cornwall and Hawkesbury in the east. This imaging network will include more than 60 medical imaging departments and service over two million people living in an area covering 840,000 square kilometres - an area larger than most provinces."
NEODIN is one of four diagnostic imaging repositories (DI-r) being implemented in Ontario in partnership with eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway. A DI-r provides a shared archive of diagnostic images and reports 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 helps health care providers make more informed and timely medical decisions.
"Residents in communities throughout northern Ontario 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."
"This project is an integral part of Ontario's eHealth strategy," said Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario. "Through these investments in technology, we are helping to improve the healthcare experience for Ontarians by bringing access to care closer to home. This is a perfect example of how collaboration within the healthcare system is changing the way patients receive care, consistent with the government's focus on access to care."
Canada Health Infoway has provided $21.7 million and eHealth Ontario has provided $20 million in funding to support the project which is part of the Ontario government's ehealth agenda and Infoway's vision for a pan-Canadian electronic health record system.
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