ElectronicHealthcare 4(2) October 2005 : 106-108

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Emergis selected to lead EHR project linking 87 outlets
The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information is embarking on the next phase of its electronic health record (EHR) strategy after selecting Emergis Inc. as the lead vendor of a consortium of four Canadian companies including Systems Xcellence Inc., Courtyard Group Ltd. and St. John's, Nfld.-based zedIT Solutions Inc. The project would link all of the province's 87 community pharmacies and stores.

Hamilton Health switches to digital radiography
Hamilton Health Sciences has implemented a radiography technology that reduces the amount of time it takes a technician to obtain a medical image from three minutes to three seconds. Hamilton Health Science in partnership with Ont.-based Horizon Medical Services recently completed the installation of Canon digital radiography (DR) systems in six of its general X-ray rooms. Horizon Medical Services has installed 10 of these systems to date including two clinics in the Toronto area.

Family practice clinic deploys Cisco gear to chart patients electronically
Four Counties Health Services (FCHS), southwestern Ontario healthcare facility, has deployed a $56,000 wireless network that will help it reduce its paper usage by 75% and recruit and retain physicians.

Mississauga, Ont.-based consulting firm NexInnovations installed access points, a wireless local area network (LAN) and main routing and management facilities from Cisco Systems to a new family practice clinic operated by primary care facility. Serving 23,000 people in Middlesex, Elgin, Chatham-Kent and Lambton counties, Newbury, FCHS provides emergency care, diagnostic services, rehabilitation and outpatient care services.

Ottawa Hospital Upgrades to Java-based EHR system
The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) recently updated its electronic health record system that provides a platform for future advanced management of patient records.

The hospital's record system is called Oacis, a Web-based product developed by the Canadian-owned company Dinmar. Oacis operates like a collection and viewing tool. It collects data about patients from ancillary services - for example, a test result from the radiology department - and arranges the information in a Web browser for the patient's doctor. The system allows doctors to arrange information in different tables and to trend patient patterns in one panel.

$70 Million Deal Between Capital Health and Philips
Capital Health and Philips have reached agreement on an innovative, landmark $70 million deal for diagnostic equipment that will improve patient care, increase access to technology and establish a strategic relationship for future partnerships between the two organizations.

This new approach to equipment acquisition allows Capital Health to purchase equipment in key areas for three years with two one-year extension options. Faster access to equipment will support the region's implementation of the Picture Archival Communication System (PACS). This system will support the integration of digital diagnostic images into netCARE.

State of the Art Pharmacy System at the Royal Ottawa Hospital
The Royal Ottawa Hospital in partnership with McKesson Canada has introduced a state-of-the-art pharmacy dispensing system that reduces medication error and clinical time required by pharmacists and nurses. The McKesson Canada pharmacy system provides an automated packaging function based on each patient's individual needs, which helps eliminate medication errors and ensures secure storage and rapid dispensing of all drugs required on patient care units. The AcuDose-RX function will track all medications dispensed, how and when they are administered, and by which clinician to which patient.

Mount Sinai Hospital Selects HP Canada to Provide Technology Infrastructure Solutions and Services
Mount Sinai Hospital has selected HP Canada as its partner in a six-year information technology initiative designed to enhance the quality of patient service, care and safety.

The agreement encompasses infrastructure solutions and services, including 24x7 Help Desk, e-mail, server management, enterprise storage and backup, and full network support services, such as wireless and Internet access. HP is also providing support for desktops, printers and associated peripherals.

WebMed Technology Selects NEC Unified Solutions for Converged Mobility
NEC Unified Solutions today announced that WebMed Technology, a consultant for the healthcare market based in British Columbia, has selected NEC's UNIVERGE Wireless LAN converged mobility solution to provide a network infrastructure for testing wireless applications and devices designed for healthcare professionals. Since deploying the solution, WebMed Technology has enjoyed faultless performance that has allowed them to provide effective, knowledgeable IT consulting recommendations to healthcare providers and governments.

Patient Safety Enhanced With New Intravenous Medication Safety System
Kingston General Hospital has implemented a new intravenous medication safety system that is designed to enhance safety for patients receiving intravenous medications.

Referred to as "smart pumps," the ALARISĀ® System infusion pumps with GuardrailsĀ® Safety Software are computerized IV medication infusion pumps. Each pump is programmed with detailed information about IV medications, including how the medications are to be mixed and how much can be given over a specific period of time. The pump alerts clinicians when a potential prescribing or programming error may have been made, before the patient receives the medication.

Courtyard Group Opens Office in the United Kingdom
Courtyard Group has opened of its new office in London, England. The London office will offer programme and project management services, change realization, and benefits realization services to health trusts and authorities. It will also take a leadership position in rapidly emerging convergence of healthcare and life sciences resulting from the health authorities investments in IT.

Infoway Update

New Pharmaceutical Information Program Enhances Patient Safety
A new Saskatchewan Health initiative will help make using prescription drugs safer. The Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP) will give authorized healthcare professionals - like doctors, nurses and pharmacists - confidential access to the medication records of their patients.

The program will help healthcare professionals select the best medication to avoid drug interactions and duplications of therapy, including prescription drug abuse. PIP will also help health professionals sort through the numerous medications a person may be taking when treating medical conditions, or where several professionals and prescriptions are involved in a patient's care.

Prior to the introduction of PIP, there was no centralized, complete source of prescription records for healthcare providers to refer to when making decisions about a patient's drug therapy.

New Concept Laboratory Will Advance Healthcare Technology
Canada Health Infoway and the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation today launched the "eHealth Collaboratory," a new concept laboratory designed to help improve technology's ability to benefit healthcare professionals and patients in Canada.

Infoway has invested $661,300 in startup costs for the Collaboratory. Located in the Centre for Global eHealth Innovations' facilities, the Collaboratory will leverage the Centre's technical, clinical and usability (ease of use) expertise.

The Collaboratory will focus on the use of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Infoway and the Centre have issued a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) inviting vendors to join the Collaboratory and participate in its first demonstration series which will focus on the Physician's Office of the Future.

"Today, there are still many disparate health information systems that cannot communicate with one another. We're helping to solve this problem by encouraging collaboration amongst vendors, clinicians and technology experts," said Richard Alvarez, Infoway's president and CEO.

The Physician's Office of the Future will show what a physician's office will look like when equipped with leading-edge technology. Vendors who respond to the REOI and join the Collaboratory will have a chance to test their technology solutions in this environment and assess how they work with complementary EHR systems.

This first demonstration series will be held in the fourth quarter of 2005. For more information on the REOI, please visit: www.ehealthinnovation.org/ehealthcollab

$189 Million to Digitize X-Rays, CT and MRI Scans
A $189 million investment by the Alberta government and Canada Health Infoway will digitize X-rays and CT and MRI scans across the province to improve quality of care for Albertans by providing doctors and patients faster access to reports and images.

Alberta Health and Wellness and Canada Health Infoway will contribute a total of $143 million and $46 million respectively to the project. The project will invest in sophisticated new diagnostic imaging systems that will allow hospitals and clinics throughout Alberta to electronically share patient X-rays and CT and MRI scans through Alberta's Electronic Health Record (EHR).

In addition to improving patient care, this move will also help radiologists to be more productive and is expected to provide long-term cost savings through reduced storage requirements and electronic sharing of information.

Alberta's objective is to have an electronic health record for every Albertan by 2008, which complements Infoway's objective of having electronic records available for 50% of the Canadian population by the end of 2009.

The project is expected to be completed by March 2008. It will include three diagnostic imaging repositories: one in Calgary for the Calgary Health region, one in Edmonton for the Capital Health region and one in Red Deer for the remaining health regions as part of the Regional Shared Health Information Program (RSHIP). The system can capture all the radiology exams done at hospitals and clinics throughout the province; there are 4 million diagnostic imaging exams done each year in Alberta.

This project is unique because it links an entire province through a diagnostic imaging network. Implementing shared digital imaging networks across the country will save the healthcare system an estimated $350 million dollars annually. Sharing technology also helps address the challenge of providing affordable access for smaller hospitals and clinics to the technology underlying electronic health records. Small hospitals and clinics comprise 80% of Canadian facilities.


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