Patients to Benefit from Improved Health Care Information Flow



    TORONTO, April 10 /CNW/ - Smart Systems for Health Agency (SSHA) and
Hydro One Telecom are collaborating to improve health care information flow
and patient care.
    Hydro One Telecom will provide the dedicated core section to SSHA's
telecommunications network. It will serve as the foundation of SSHA's overall
network service, which is used by health care institutions and professionals
across Ontario to share patient information securely and reliably. When fully
deployed, SSHA's network will be the largest private, high performance network
in Ontario.
    This collaboration represents a major upgrade to SSHA's network in terms
of bandwidth and security. SSHA will continue to work with a wide range of
telecommunications providers to connect thousands of health care professionals
to this new core network.
    Linda Weaver, SSHA Chief Technology Officer, says: "Meeting the current
and rapidly growing network needs of health care in Ontario means we partner
with many network suppliers, taking advantage of their areas of expertise."
    A pilot implementation for the new network is the six hospitals in the
Huron Perth Region. It is used to move electronic Diagnostic Images (DI),
which replace traditional film images. Babette MacRae, Project Director,
Southwest Ontario DI Project, says: "This is a new way of doing things as we
did not have the bandwidth to do it before. Patients benefit because they now
have access to specialists nearby or in London to view and evaluate their
images. In the past we had to courier film from one location to another."
    Grey Bruce Health Services, South Bruce Grey Health Centre and Hanover
and District Hospital - a twelve hospital site early adopter group - is using
the network to improve the performance of its Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) phone system. It is also using the network to send DI from rural
hospital sites without radiologists to hospital sites where these specialists
work. Rob Croft, Corporate Director, System Integration and Projects, says:
"At our rural sites, it now takes one hour for a radiologist to receive, read
and report on an x-ray. Previously, it took 48-60 hours to receive a report."
    William Albino, SSHA CEO, commented: "This is good news for patients. It
is a dramatic step up for us in terms of value for our health care clients. By
working together, we are able to meet the goals of network reliability,
availability, security, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility to meet growing
needs in a way that makes the most sense."
    "We are pleased that Hydro One Telecom's network can be used in this
initiative to extend services across the province," said Paul Marchant,
President, Hydro One Telecom.

    News release and backgrounders available at:
www.ssha.on.ca/press-release/network.pdf





For further information:

For further information: Paul Kilbertus, SSHA, (416) 586-4327, Toll-free
1-888-411-7742, paul.kilbertus@ssha.on.ca, www.ssha.on.ca; Nancy Lunn, Hydro
One Telecom, (416) 240-6766, nancy.lunn@hydroone.com, www.hydroonetelecom.com;
Babette MacRae, Project Director, Southwest Ontario Digital Imaging Project,
(905) 785-9020; Rob Croft, Corporate Director, System Integration and
Projects, Grey Bruce Health Services, (519) 372-3920, ext. 2846

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