Diagnostic Imaging Program
Picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) and DI repositories are secure computer systems that contain patient radiology reports and images such as hospital-based CT scans, ultrasounds, MRIs, mammograms and x-rays. The implementation of these systems has eliminated the need for film and paper diagnostic images.
DI gives health care providers important information to make better decisions about a patient’s treatment. Authorized health care providers can share images and reports securely with other providers within their respective DI-rs. The diagnostic images and corresponding reports are stored in a regional repository from which they can be retrieved in digital format. This capability is reducing the need for patients to travel to see a specialist.
eHealth Ontario’s DI program is part of the agency’s overall strategy to improve patient care, safety and access. By putting in place a stable technical infrastructure, it guarantees that health care providers have access to vital clinical activity information systems when they need it. eHealth Ontario coordinates the four DI-r projects covering all hospitals in Ontario and provides funding support and the ONE® Network that gives providers access to the system.
- Elimination of unnecessary travel
- Reduced wait times and lengths of stay thanks to faster exam reports and clinical decisions by physicians and specialists
- Reduced duplicate and unnecessary exams
- Elimination of the need to physically transfer images or CDs to the specialist
- Elimination of unnecessary exposure to radiation
- Faster and easier access to images and reports 24/7
- Remote access to images for off-hours coverage
- Enhanced remote reporting capabilities
- Real-time clinical collaboration, increasing access to a broader range of specialists
- All four of the DI repositories are complete, allowing 100% of DI reports and images obtained in Ontario hospitals to be available for viewing and sharing within their respective region.
- The Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) DI-r has all 70 hospital sites integrated to the repository.
- The Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services (HDIRS) DI-r has all 38 hospital sites integrated to the repository.
- The Northern and Eastern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (NEODIN) DI-r has all 67 hospital sites integrated to the repository.
- The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) West DI-r, covering GTA and North Simcoe Muskoka LHINs, has all 35 hospital sites integrated to the repository.
- The pilot project to connect independent health facilities (IHFs) to the DI-rs is complete with nine IHF hubs, representing 48 facilities integrated. Full scale IHF integration is underway with seven additional IHF hub integrations now complete (18 IHF hubs in total) and 1.7 million exams collected annually.
- All 101 acute care centres are live with the emergency neuro image transfer system (ENITS). The number of neurosurgical referrals through CritiCall Ontario where ENITS is consulted was 10,523 in FY 2013/14, and the percentage of patients transferred was 31.2 per cent, a number that has declined consistently since ENITS was implemented.
- ENITS was the recipient of the Showcase Ontario 2011 Merit Award and the Showcase Ontario 2011 Award of Excellence, both in the “Innovation” category. In June 2012, ENITS was the recipient of the Amethyst award, recognizing excellence in the Ontario Public Service (OPS).
- In addition to the CT scanners connected to ENITS, MRI scanners have also been added, thereby enabling even more comprehensive consultations for neuro cases.
- Working with the MOHLTC, Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) and CritiCall Ontario, eHealth Ontario upgraded the ENITS technology platform, and updated the system to include telestroke consultations. Now, OTN’s 16 neurologists are registered to use ENITS as part of their regular workflow. This means the province now has one common platform for all emergency neuro care, such as traumatic brain injuries and strokes.
- Currently under development is the DI common service – an initiative that supports the sharing and viewing of reports and images across Ontario to all hospital and community-based health care providers anytime, anywhere. Learn More
- Currently under development is the DI common service – an initiative that supports the sharing and viewing of reports and images across Ontario to all hospital and community-based health care providers anytime, anywhere.
- Additionally, based on the successful IHF pilots, full-scale IHF integration with digitally enabled IHFs, is underway.