On Tuesday, June 8th, South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) transitioned its database of diagnostic images from a locally-hosted platform to the South Western Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network regional PACS platform.
PACS (Picture Archive Communication System) is a medical imaging technology used by healthcare organizations to securely store, transmit, and share electronic images and reports.
PACS is a critical tool for patient care, used locally and abroad to make informed patient treatment decisions. Using PACS, physicians and specialists from other hospital sites are able to instantly access images (x-Ray’s, CT scans, ultrasounds, etc.) from any of SBGHC’s hospital sites in Chesley, Durham, Kincardine and Walkerton. A regional PACS system is significant when patients travel to other hospitals for healthcare, as access to prior imaging is readily available.
SBGHC’s current PACS system reached end of life December 2019. The project launched in early 2020 to upgrade to the regional PACS system, which will allow all SBGHC physicians to share images, and work collaboratively across the entire South West region.
“The delivery of modern healthcare is optimized if our hospital systems are electronically linked,” explains Dr. Donald Taves, Radiologist at SBGHC and St Joseph Health Care London. “Our SBGHC hospitals are well-served with state-of-the-art technology that allows images to be shared for specialist review while allowing patients to access their care close to home. This is a very good news story.”
Through the South Western Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Repository (SWODIR), SBGHC now has direct access to images from over 80 different organizations from four geographic regions in the province who store exams in this repository, including Erie St. Clair, South West, Waterloo Wellington and Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant.
The total project cost of over $300K has been generously supported by the hospital Foundations in each of SBGHC’s four communities, the Chesley Hospital Foundation, Durham Hospital Foundation, Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation and the Walkerton & District Hospital Foundation, whose contributions totaled over $200K.
“SBGHC is fortunate to have the support of our four local hospital Foundations in Chesley, Durham, Kincardine and Walkerton which has allowed the hospital to invest in modern diagnostic imaging technology, ensuring we can continue to enhance patient care in our communities.” says Michael Barrett, SBGHC President and CEO.
“Upgrading to the Regional PACS is a major step forward in modernizing our Imaging Department,” says Dr. Douglas Mowbray, SBGHC Radiologist. “Not only do we now have the more advanced tools of a modern PACS compared to our old system, we are now completely interconnected throughout the Regional system and patient information and patient images can be readily accessed by anyone authorized to see them throughout the system. This will be a big step forward in improving patient care.”