$5 million data centre to launch in Northwestern Ontario
February 13, 2019
THUNDER BAY, Ont. – A dozen Northwestern Ontario hospitals will have a new regional data centre by the end of March. It’s the result of a two-year, joint endeavour between the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Northwest Health Alliance.
The project has a price tag of between $4.5 million and $5 million, and had received $1 million from the previous provincial government through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. In February, the project celebrated a $1 million contribution from Ottawa through FedNor.
The new data centre replaces and serves as a physical expansion to the facility that had been in place since the construction of the regional hospital.
The data centre allows for further implementation of regional health records, along with research systems and business applications. The increased capacity also provides research opportunities through analytics and strengthens data management and usage.
Dawn Bubar (pictured), senior director of informatics for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Care Group, said the upgrade is needed given the dependence on technology in the modern world, particularly in the health care sector.
“Most of our clinical systems, all of our patient records, all of our patient images across the whole region are dependent on having a secure and reliable data centre,” Bubar said.
“When our original data centre was built, technology was not at the place it is today. It was not as critical to our day-to-day operations in ensuring the continuum of care for our patients.”
Bubar said all patient information is collected in a repository.
“That allows for our clinicians to be able to view the patient’s records regardless of where that patient may move from town to town within the region. All of that clinical information travels with them with quick access for our clinicians,” Bubar said.
“The fact that we have a repository with all of this rich information will allow us to mine it and do other things in terms of planning, research and analysis of what’s going on in our sector.”
The enhancement will impact 12 hospitals, extending from Kenora to Manitouwadge.