Canada Health Infoway finalizes preferred solution agreement with GE Healthcare for diagnostic imaging solutions



    TORONTO, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) today announced
it has negotiated preferential conditions and pricing with GE Healthcare
Canada through a Preferred Solution Agreement for their Centricity Picture
Archiving and Communications System (PACS) and Diagnostic Imaging Repository
(DI-r).
    Diagnostic imaging and PACS refers to systems that allow X-rays, MRIs,
ultrasounds and CT scans to be captured, viewed and transmitted electronically
from one site to another. These systems replace conventional X-ray film and
greatly improve access to patient information. Diagnostic imaging repositories
provide a secure environment for the storage and retrieval of diagnostic
images and reports.
    "The project investments made in diagnostic imaging are translating into
real-time benefits and progress in diagnosis and treatment, providing
clinicians and patients with more accurate results and reduced wait times,"
said Richard Alvarez, Infoway's president and CEO.
    Through an Infoway project investment, British Columbia's Interior Health
Authority demonstrated an overall average 41 per cent decrease in turnaround
time for radiology results since the implementation of PACS. Similar
technology provided by GE Healthcare at the province's Fraser Health Authority
uncovered millions in annual cost savings by reducing film costs and storage
space and increasing productivity. By 2010, Canadians will benefit from
improved radiology services made possible by digital diagnostic imaging in all
provinces and territories.
    A key element of the Canada-wide agreement is preferential pricing for
jurisdictions who implement a shared service where several hospitals agree to
use a common PACS and DI-r infrastructure. GE Healthcare's commitment to
adhere to pan-Canadian standards, and applicable privacy and security
requirements, is covered in the agreement.
    "This agreement will benefit our jurisdictional partners by reducing the
cost and risk of implementing PACS and DI-r solutions," added Alvarez.
    The Canada-wide agreement will help accelerate the implementation of
electronic health records, making it simpler for provinces and territories to
acquire a diagnostic imaging solution. GE Healthcare Canada joins Agfa
Healthcare, Christie Group Ltd., McKesson Information Solutions, and Philips
Healthcare as preferred solution providers for diagnostic imaging.
    Infoway's Preferred Solution Agreements show that participating vendors
like GE Healthcare have a deep understanding of the pan-Canadian EHR and the
need to adopt established standards to ensure interoperability. While Infoway
believes that these agreements offer significant value, the selection of
specific vendors rests with the individual province or territory.
    At the end of fiscal 2007/08, Infoway invested $316 million in 21
diagnostic imaging projects, currently completed or still in progress, across
eight provinces and one territory. This is part of 254 electronic health
record projects, representing $1.457 billion in investment since Infoway's
inception.

    About Canada Health Infoway

    Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the Federal government. Infoway jointly invests in projects with
every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of
electronic health record systems in Canada. Fully respecting patient
confidentiality, this network of systems will provide clinicians and patients
with a faster way to manage, access, share and safeguard patient health
information. Accessing this vital information quickly will foster a more
modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.





For further information:

For further information: Dan Strasbourg, Director, Corporate
Communications, Canada Health Infoway, dstrasbourg@infoway-inforoute.ca, (416)
595-3424; on Canada Health Infoway, visit www.infoway-inforoute.ca


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