ElectronicHealthcare 5(3) January 2007 : 126-127

Publisher's Page

Agfa HealthCare reaches agreement with RUIS Laval and RUIS Sherbrooke for PACS
Agfa HealthCare has announced that it has concluded negotiations with the Réseau Universitaire Intégré de Santé (RUIS) Laval and RUIS Sherbrooke regions of Quebec, for the implementation of its IMPAXTM PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) and diagnostic imaging repository (DI-r) solutions. The contract negotiations included the precise planning, configuration and timing of the two large-scale projects.   The agreements, which are worth in excess of $60 million and include a five-year plan for support and an option for two additional years, are expected to be signed by year end with implementation of each region's two mirrored DI-r solutions starting early in 2007.

Emergis to Manage Ontario's Drug Claims
Emergis Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) to manage the ministry's Health Network System, which processes drug claims under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program. Under this five-year, multi-million dollar agreement, approximately 99 million ODB claims will be evaluated and paid annually at Emergis' state-of-the-art data facilities in Ontario. In addition to managing the Health Network System, Emergis will provide dedicated staff to support the system and, as requested by the MOHLTC, enhance the system to meet the changing needs of the ODB program.

The Health Network System provides computerized claim adjudication and pharmacy payment, and various batch and administrative support applications, to the ODB program. Pharmacies submit ODB claims electronically and the HNS validates eligibility, provides drug utilization review information messages, authorizes payment and calculates the government share of eligible prescription costs. By the end of 2006, over 2,800 pharmacies and 183 hospitals will be connected to the HNS and more than 130 MOHLTC users will have access to the system. The system adjudicates about 99 million online real-time transactions per year from the approximately 2.2 million Ontarians enrolled in the ODB program. Operating 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, the HNS adjudicates over 53,000 claims per hour at its busiest periods.

CIHR's Expertise Lauded in New British Health Research Strategy  
The British government is set to emulate the work of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as it moves ahead with a bold new strategy to improve an already highly successful UK health-research system. Canadian investments in R&D and, more specifically, Canada's inclusive and multidisciplinary model of health research received outstanding praise in the Cooksey Review, published as part of a pre-budget speech by Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown MP.

Microsoft Unveils New People-Ready Business Platform to Help Meet Workplace Challenges
Microsoft Corporation recently unveiled Windows Vista TM operating system, the 2007 Microsoft® Office system and Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007, powerful solutions designed to help Canadian organizations simplify collaboration, protect and manage content, improve business insight and reduce security risks and deployment costs.  

The new versions of Windows, Office and Exchange Server are the result of an unprecedented relationship between Microsoft and its customers. Real-life scenarios guided product development through feedback from customers who volunteered to let Microsoft watch them work in more than one billion user sessions. During testing, customers from around the world downloaded more than five million beta versions of the three products and provided valuable feedback and suggestions.

Honeywell Helps Toronto Hospital Upgrade Buildings, Improve Comfort and Reduce Greenhouse Gases
Honeywell and   Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) recently introduced an award-winning energy retrofit and facility renewal program that will help the hospital upgrade its facilities, cut its utility bills and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

The $9.5 million, 15-year program is expected to save the hospital more than $880,000 annually in operating costs. This money will initially be used to finance facility improvements, including automating HVAC control, upgrading a chiller plant and installing new fixtures and equipment to reduce water consumption. Honeywell guarantees the savings under an energy performance contract with the hospital so the work will not impact capital budgets.

New System Will Speed Access to Diagnostic Images
With financial support from Health Canada Infoway, Saskatchewan Health will implement a new radiology information system that will improve diagnostic imaging services and make diagnostic images and results available electronically to healthcare providers across the province. The Radiology Information System will link with existing hospital information systems to co-ordinate patient information, including X-ray, CT scan and MRI results. The multi-year project will result in a system that stores and digital imaging studies and allows health providers to securely access them throughout the province. The system will schedule patients for diagnostic imaging services, improve the utilization of diagnostic staff and equipment, and eventually link with a diagnostic imaging wait-list registry in Saskatchewan.

3M Canada to appoint Regional Director for Alberta and Northwest Territories  
Bill Boyce, a 25-year veteran of 3M, has been appointed Regional Director for Alberta and the Northwest Territories. In this role, Boyce will be responsible for leading 3M operations in Alberta including sales deployment, new product and application development, new business development including alliances and acquisitions and developing a growth plan specifically for the oil and gas sector.

Bell Celebrity Gala Raises $1 Million for SickKids Foundation  
The 2006 Bell Celebrity Gala raised $1 million for SickKids Foundation, in support of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. In 2005, Bell Canada announced a five-year commitment to SickKids Foundation, that includes $5 million in fundraising proceeds collected through the Annual Bell Celebrity Gala and Bell Celebrity Classic events as well as a $5 million corporate gift to be distributed over a five-year period.


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