Digital sharing props patient care

The Thames Valley Hospital Planning Partnership (TVHPP) is improving patient care with its newly acquired ability to access and exchange medical images and information, according to both its radiology chief and CIO.

Hewlett-Packard Canada Co. (HP) announced Monday that the TVHPP, consisting of eight health care institutions in Southwestern Ontario, has implemented the HP Medical Archiving Solution.

“Patients don’t have to wait for images to be developed and manually transferred, they are immediately available for review, even from a remote site,” said Dr. Donald Taves, chief of radiology, St. Joseph’s Health Care London. “Now, a patient can leave the department after the images have been taken knowing that the specialist will be able to review and then discuss their case promptly.”

No lost or misplaced film is an added benefit, he said.

The solution is a an element of the hospital partnership’s Digital Imaging Network Project and enables its health care providers to quickly and securely access, share and store digital medical images, such as x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans, as well as eliminate the use of film, HP said in a release.

TVHPP wanted to meet the needs of its communities with a patient-centred philosophy and innovative models of patient care, according to Diane Beattie, integrated vice-president and CIO, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

“We are transforming the delivery of patient services with this solution and through our collaborative efforts in the region,” said Beattie. “HP has considerable experience in the health care sector, so we were very confident that they could support our mission.”

London Health Sciences spearheaded the project and it allowed TVHPP to build a more cost effective solution, according to David Mosher, business manager, public sector, Hewlett-Packard Canada Co.

“There tends to be one lead hospital that sets the architecture and figures out how it should be done,” said Mosher. “The smaller (hospitals) link into the network, and that seems to be the easiest approach.”

The TVHPP was formed to co-operatively explore the feasibility of integrating and sharing strategic healthcare services and priorities, including diagnostic imaging, clinical care, laboratory systems and capital planning.

Canada Health Infoway and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care fund the TVHPP project.

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