For immediate release

August 6, 2013

Seamless imaging system implemented between TOH, RVH and SFMH

Renfrew Victoria Hospital and St. Francis Memorial Hospital have completed a groundbreaking project that allows for more efficient delivery and reading of digital imaging tests conducted at either site.

“This is significant achievement for our two hospitals,” says Randy Penney, President and CEO of RVH and SFMH. “I would like to thank everyone at The Ottawa Hospital involved with this project. For our patients, staff and physicians we now have immediate access to more than 57 radiologists at the Ottawa Hospital. The clinical expertise they offer is tremendous.”

Over the past year, RVH and SFMH have been involved in a pilot project with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) to become part of a true multi-site Picture Archiving Communications System (PACS).

“A single integrated system for diagnostic medical images for The Ottawa Hospital, Renfrew and St. Francis will improve patient care by allowing for immediate access to the patients’ images and diagnostic reports across the three hospitals. This collaboration will improve quality patient care and I commend the teams involved for their effort in delivering this very important program,” comments Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital.

In order to fully integrate the systems, RVH and SFMH had to switch from the Carestream PACS to a completely different solution called McKesson PACS, the same system used by TOH.

“We worked diligently with the TOH Integration Implementation team for more than a year to accomplish this,” says Phil Crozier, head of the RVH diagnostic imaging department. Now, radiologists at TOH no longer have to relocate to a different workstation and PACS system to report for Renfrew or Barry’s Bay.

“This seamless integration allows all cases to be read on a first-in, first-out basis—regardless of which site the exams originated—greatly reducing our wait times for reporting. All urgent cases are reported same day, with the remainder being read in less than 48 hours,” he says.

Radiologist and former Chief of Radiology with TOH, Dr. Mark Schweitzer, worked closely with the Renfrew team throughout the project and says that this will allow Renfrew patients to have consultations at The Ottawa Hospital seamlessly, “and will also allow the imaging specialists to provide university-level care to the patients at the Renfrew Victoria and St. Francis hospitals.”

RVH’s Dr. Steve Radke agrees the new system will allow our hospitals to have access to the same high-quality interpretations by radiology specialists as the tertiary care centre in Ottawa. He adds, “The real time, seamless sharing of imaging results between RVH and all departments of TOH will facilitate the delivery of timely, accurate and efficient care to our patients.”

TOH radiologists provide expert emergency/trauma, body, cardiac, breast, musculoskeletal, thoracic and neuroradiology imaging services and interventional body and neuro-interventional radiology services.

Crozier says the radiologists (whether situated at TOH or RVH) can compare previous studies for the same patient, if that patient had imaging at Ottawa’s Civic, General or Riverside campus, Renfrew or Barry’s Bay. “Our referring clinicians also have access to view any images and reports from any of the sites mentioned above.”

“Consolidating the diagnostic medical imaging system of the three hospitals onto one platform has had immediate positive impacts for all of our patients and has enabled rapid review and reporting of imaging studies. The seamless integration was accomplished through a successful collaboration of teams across the organizations and with support from Canada Health Infoway,” notes Valerie Gamache-O’Leary, CIO and Senior Director, Information Systems, TOH.

“This is a major enhancement for our patients, staff and physicians,” concludes Penney. “It has been an incredibly complex project with many folks helping to bring it to completion. On behalf of senior management, congratulations to everyone who contributed to a job well done.”


For more information, please contact:
Randy Penney, President and CEO,
Renfrew Victoria Hospital
613-432-4851, ext. 260

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