Newfoundland and Labrador are to benefit from $15 million in donations to support the development of a province-wide Picture Archiving and Communications System that will allow diagnostic images to be digitally captured, viewed, stored and transmitted electronically from one site to another.
$10.5 million has been donated by Canada Health Infoway, an independent, organization that invests with public sector partners to implement health information systems that support a safer, more efficient health care system. This will be combined with a government investment of $4 million to support the development of a province-wide PAC system.
PACS is a computer system that enables medical images – including
X-rays, MRI, ultrasounds and CT scans – to be digitally captured, viewed, stored and transmitted electronically from one location to another. It replaces conventional x-ray film and greatly improves access to patient information by enabling referring clinicians to review patient images on computers anywhere in the province.
Richard Alvarez, CEO of Infoway said, Newfoundland and Labrador has already made significant progress in the area of electronic health records and today’s $10.5-million investment by Infoway will make this province one of the first completely filmless provinces when it comes to diagnostic imaging. This project will be an example to other provinces and is the first step toward our goal of making diagnostic images available for 50 per cent of all Canadians by 2009.
Once completed, the integrated PACS is expected to provide consistent and virtually seamless, province-wide access to a patient’s complete diagnostic record by their health care provider. There are expected to be 27 PACS sites in the province by 2007.