OCINet’s repositories securely store and share imaging studies, may reduce imaging wait times and costs, and help to facilitate a flexible, sustainable healthcare system.
Repositories Benefit Multiple Stakeholders
OCINet aims to create connections among health service providers, accelerate care for patients, save hospitals money, and ensure healthier Ontarians.
- Provides faster, more reliable access to imaging exams.
- Enables authorized health service provider access to imaging exams from anywhere, at any time.
- Results in fewer, unnecessary, repeat procedures and less exposure to radiation.
- Reduces wait times.
- Promotes collaboration among clinicians (view images simultaneously from different locations).
- Facilitates more accurate and timely diagnosis and faster treatment.
- Standardizes workflow processes and clinical practices across facilities.
- Reduces patient travel.
- Streamlines handling of emergency cases.
- Enhances continuity and comprehensiveness of patient care.
- Increases health service provider productivity.
- Frees up IT resources (human and equipment) by moving storage off-site.
- Improves recruitment and retention.
- Offers an environmentally friend way of sharing DI studies.
- Yields capital and operational cost savings via economies of scale.
- Ensures security and privacy issues are addressed collaboratively.
- Provides for greater data security and disaster recovery capability.
- Reduces the number of diagnostic imaging retakes – lowers costs.
- Enhances risk management.
- Helps the province maintain a flexible, scalable, sustainable healthcare system.
- Supports the developing, specialized, regional treatment centre model for cancer, cardiology, etc.
- Helps patients get treatment closer to home or at their preferred locations.
- Facilitates remote diagnosis, treatment, and care.
- Provides a foundation for other advanced, regional, digital technologies.
Specialists Across the Province Support OCINet’s Efforts
“On the very ﬁrst day that Markham Imaging Consultants was connected, we saw the value in HDIRS. At 1 pm, a female arrived at the clinic in a lot of pain. We quickly did an ultrasound on her and felt, clinically, that she had appendicitis but could not conﬁrm this with ultrasound. We directed her to the hospital emergency for a CT to conﬁrm. Time was of the essence; an appendix can burst at any time and cause signiﬁcant morbidity. Once at the hospital, the patient was able to advise the ER physician that there was a recent ultrasound already available in the system. Often, the hospital physician would have repeated the ultrasound, but he found the ultrasound online and sent her straight to CT, which conﬁrmed the appendicitis. By the early evening, the patient was in surgery. Having access to HDIRS shaved 2–3 hours oﬀ her treatment time, minimized the amount of time she was in pain, and demonstrated an eﬃcient use of our healthcare resources.”
Dr. Mitesh Mehta
Radiologist, Markham Imaging Consultants and Markham Stouffville Hospital
“The DIR has been great for patient care and, in my own experience in the Emergency Department (ED), has enabled me to avoid ordering unnecessary repeat imaging studies. Having this access to historical studies is invaluable in the ED.”
Dr. Larry Nijmeh
Family physician and ED physician, Lakeridge Health and Scarborough Health Network
“DIR imaging has allowed us to now directly interface with radiologists from our referring and partner sites, allowing for a new level of interaction that will lead to ongoing improvements in the quality of imaging in communities, particularly as related to specialized and regionalized cancer care. Simply put, Ontario has spent years building centres of excellence in focused locations to improve patient care and, now, OCINet is part of the puzzle for which these centres become focused networks of care, a critical element to the future when every Ontarian can not only receive expert care, but with much of it closer to home.”
Dr. Calvin H.L. Law
Chief, Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
“We cover radiation clinics in five peripheral sites. We now totally rely on HDIRS to review studies done at these locations, whether requested by us or not. Actually, we even use a DIR for looking at our local images, as it facilitates comparison with external studies (e.g., CTs or PET scan) done elsewhere.
It is not infrequent that our lung cancer patients get admitted with COPD exacerbation at one of these hospitals and end up getting CT imaging during admission. In preparing our follow-up clinics, our clerks routinely check whether previously ordered “routine” studies were done before the patient’s appointment.
If clerks become aware that patients had imaging for whatever other reason, they communicate with us to check whether those patients still need to proceed with their “routine” imaging. We not infrequently cancel the latter when appropriate.”
Dr. Medhat El-Mallah
Regional Radiation Clinical Lead for the Central East Regional Cancer Program and Section Chief of Radiation Oncology for the RS McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre at Lakeridge Health
“As a clinician who treats gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, I rely on diagnostic imaging reports to diagnose my patients, to monitor for complications, and to assess response to treatments. Our group treats patients from across Ontario, and having a shared repository for shared care is important so patients can have local tests and province-wide consultations. I chose to volunteer on the Clinical Advisory Committee so that I can provide clinician input as requested and to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that OCINet does to improve care for our patients.”
Dr. Vivian Huang
Assistant Professor and Clinician Investigator, Division of Gastroenterology, Sinai Health System and University of Toronto & OCINet Clinical Advisory Committee Member