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Agfa HealthCare connects Canadian Northwest Territories to enhance patient care


The Government of the Northwest Territories deploys Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX™ solution to support the region’s digital migration

Agfa HealthCare, a leading provider of diagnostic imaging and healthcare IT solutions, announces today that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) in Canada has selected its IMPAX™ Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) to migrate its regional radiology services to a digital environment. Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX has already been installed at the Stanton Territorial Hospital, one of four main hospitals in the Northwest Territories and the agreement foresees its expansion to the other three facilities. The new technology will provide local and remote radiologists with real-time access to patient images, cut down on costs associated with transporting images across the territory for diagnosis, and improve report turnaround time to promote a better quality of patient care to more than 40,000 residents.

Currently, healthcare professionals from over 18 community facilities in the Northwest Territories transport patient film-based images by traditional mail or by air to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife, the only facility in the territory with a radiologist. Once in place, Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX solution will connect the four main hospitals in the region to provide caregivers with more efficient and convenient access to patient information and images. GNWT plans to deploy computed radiography systems in the 18 community health centers currently providing diagnostic imaging (DI) services across the Territories. These systems will eventually connect to Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX solution connecting the vast geography of the Territories to the Territorial PACS.

“The Northwest Territories is unique in that our geography of 1.17 million square kilometres presents challenges in meeting the dynamic needs of our regions,” said Honorable Sandy Lee, Minister of Health and Social Services, Northwest Territories. “Deploying the IMPAX solution supports our goal to provide community members with improved, patient-centric care, such as improving report turnaround times from days and sometimes weeks, to just a few hours.”

Agfa HealthCare’s IMPAX system is a web-deployable image and information management solution with advanced image processing designed to simplify customer reporting activities, increase throughput and improve report turnaround time, while connecting caregivers to the tools and knowledge they need to deliver quality healthcare efficiently. Relevant patient and exam information - patient data, visit information, reporting history and scanned documents - is more readily available, supporting more timely assessments and improved delivery of patient care.

“Extended wait times are still plaguing our healthcare system, and moving to a digital environment is the first step to expediting overall patient turnaround times,” said Dave Wilson, General Manager of Agfa HealthCare, Canada. “Advanced imaging technologies, such as IMPAX, will lay the groundwork for further IT deployments in the Northwest Territories and will enhance the delivery of patient care - ultimately getting us closer to making eHealth in Canada a reality.”

The IMPAX PACS project is set to be complete at the end of April, 2009, with the computed radiography projected for completion in June 2010.


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