The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (the Centre) has partnered with GE Healthcare to install a province-wide Telepathology Network. The $2.5 million Telepathology Network, jointly funded by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), will give patients and pathologists across the province greater access to pathology services and support.
Telepathology uses telecommunication technology to facilitate the review of image-rich pathology data between locations for the purposes of diagnosis, education, quality assurance and research. With this technology, images can be viewed from another part of a hospital or other locations around the province and the country.
“This provincial initiative will create a sustainable local Telepathology network, promote timely consultation and collaboration among pathologists, increase educational opportunities and facilitate quality assurance,” said Mike Barron (pictured), Centre president and CEO. “More importantly, enhancing digital pathology access will support healthcare professionals in delivering optimal care to the people of our province.”
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador remains committed to strengthening the provincial healthcare system, demonstrated by the $1.1 million investment in the project.
“One of the recommendations from the Cameron Inquiry was to explore alternative means of providing pathology services within the province,” said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Health and Community Services.
“This included exploring new technology in the field of pathology digital imaging and computer transmission and ensuring that adequate resources were available to fund technical resources such as telemedicine technology. We continue to work with and support the Centre and the Regional Health Authorities as they implement eHealth solutions like the Telepathology Network that work to enhance patient care for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Currently, Eastern Health is the only Regional Health Authority (RHA) that has existing digital scanners.
The current project will provide slide scanners and viewing software to four additional sites in the remaining three RHAs where pathologists reside. The sites include: James Paton Memorial Regional Health Centre in Gander; Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor; Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook; and, Charles S. Curtis Memorial Hospital in St. Anthony. A future complementary project will then connect Newfoundland and Labrador to systems in Ontario and Manitoba.
Canada Health Infoway, the not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government to realize the vision of healthier Canadians through digital health solutions, invested $1.4 million in the project.
“The Telepathology project we are celebrating today demonstrates how innovation in digital health can help deliver better quality of care and access to care for improved health,” said Michael Green, president and CEO of Canada Health Infoway. “With this technology, patients from remote communities and cities alike will have access to the expertise of leading specialists.”
“We are excited to partner with the Centre and help support its vision to provide sustainable and scalable care,” said Mike Clarke, general manager of GE Healthcare Canada. “As program implementation begins in the province, we believe our digital pathology solution from Omnyx could serve as a model for other healthcare providers – whether they work remotely or locally – who are exploring digital solutions to help better serve their patients and potentially accelerate the rate of delivery of patient care.”
About the Centre for Health Information
The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (the Centre) provides quality information to health professionals, the public, researchers and health system decision-makers. Through collaboration with the health system, the Centre supports the development of data and technical standards, maintains key health databases, prepares and distributes health reports, and supports and carries out applied health research, evaluations and analytics. The Centre’s mandate also includes the development and implementation of a confidential and secure provincial electronic health record, including the change management required to support adoption by end user clinicians.
For more information, visit www.nlchi.nl.ca.