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About Sickkids
About SickKids

January 7, 2013

Stepping up information sharing

Fatima Lima-Simao, a manager in digital imaging at SickKids, helped to launch the clinical viewer.
Fatima Lima-Simao, a manager in digital imaging at SickKids, helped to launch the clinical viewer.

Hospitals in Ontario are moving forward with electronic patient records that can be shared among institutions, and SickKids continues to show leadership by helping to launch the various features of a complex initiative that will increase the effectiveness of the health-care system.

The  GTA West Diagnostic Imaging Repository project (GTA West DI-r) is a shared regional repository, built around solutions provided by the company CGI. It will provide clinicians with access to all patients’ diagnostic imaging results, including CT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs and x-rays from health-care facilities in the GTA West region.

The GTA West DI-r project involves a diverse set of 19 organizations, accounting for approximately 40 sites, across five LHINs (Mississauga Halton, Central West, Toronto Central, Central and North Simcoe Muskoka).  In addition to funding, eHealth Ontario and Canada Health Infoway are providing strategic direction.

The month of December saw two new milestones at SickKids. First, on Dec. 10, the GTA DI-r FEM (Foreign Exam Management) went live. The system is integrated with the SickKids PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System).  As a result, recent scans of patients at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and SickKids will be available on the GTA West DI-r, and can be reviewed by health-care professionals electronically.

Secondly, SickKids began piloting the GTA West DI-r web-based viewer application within the Emergency department in December. This marks the first clinical go-live for the project, and SickKids became the first site to complete the full clinical deployment strategy. Next, the viewer will be deployed in critical care areas across the hospital.

With the viewer, clinicians can access diagnostic imaging records from the organizations that are currently publishing to the GTA West DI-r.  If clinicians are working on their hospital’s secure network, they will no longer require access to their local PACS to review the images. The new process saves a great deal of time and removes technical obstacles that sometimes arise when hospitals share DVDs of diagnostic images.

“We are excited to play such an active role in shaping the future of Ontario’s health care,” says Daniela Crivianu-Gaita, Vice-President and Chief Information Officer at SickKids. “Hospitals have found a new way to work together, and patients will benefit.”

The two projects – the launch of the Foreign Exam Management system and the GTA West DI-r web viewer – complete more than 12 months of intense work. The launch also marks the success of the ongoing collaboration between SickKids and Holland Bloorview which saw the integration of images into the SickKids PACS in December 2011 and the start of publishing images and reports to GTA West DI-r in July 2012.