Central storage of diagnostic imaging for 33 Ontario hospitals

11 April 2008

Agfa HealthCare and Canadian firm Teranet are to provide and host a new diagnostic imaging data centre and virtual private network (VPN) service for 33 hospital sites across Ontario.

This will allow central and secure storage of patient images and reports and enable staff to have real-time access to relevant patient images from across the different hospital sites, regardless of the point of origin.

Agfa HealthCare will implement the diagnostic imaging data centre which will centrally store the patient information in Teranet's secure data centres.

The Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services (HDIRS) PACS project is a joint initiative involving 23 hospital corporations that want to share diagnostic images and reports across 33 Ontario hospital sites.

It is part of the Canadian Health Infoway initiative to accelerate the implementation of reliable and secure health information systems, leading to the eventual goal of an electronic patient record (EPR) for every Canadian. Formed in 2001, Canada Health Infoway is a federally-funded, independent, not-for-profit organisation whose members are Canada's 14 federal, provincial and territorial deputy ministers of health.

In addition, the project will provide disaster recovery, business continuity services and network management to improve hospital services and the delivery of patient care.

"Today's Canadian health system requires a more secure and efficient method to process increasing amounts of medical data," said Pat Ryan, General Manager, HDIRS. "We are looking forward to extending this partnership with both Agfa HealthCare and Teranet to work to make Canada Health Infoway's national e-health initiative a reality."

According to Michael Green, Regional Manager IT Business Division, Agfa HealthCare, Canada, "the Ontario-based HDIRS project is a vital undertaking as shared electronic patient information is a huge piece of the ehealth puzzle. This project is a massive leap forward toward achieving Canada's EPR goals, and will help healthcare organisations improve the delivery of patient care while improving the security of medical records."

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