Another integration milestone

Digital connections bringing Unity Health sites closer than ever

By Emily Dawson

(L to R) Ashley Machado, administrative assistant; Dr. Ashley Verduyn, chief and director, Medical Affairs; and Sonia Ramdeo, medical radiation technologist. (Photo by Katie Cooper)

July 22, 2019 – After six months of planning, testing and training, St. Michael’s Hospital radiologists are beginning to read Providence Healthcare patient and residents X-ray exams, marking an important milestone for service integration at Unity Health Toronto.

“Although patients and residents have always been able to have X-rays taken at Providence, we didn’t have the organizational capacity or resources to read the exams,” said Dr. Ashley Verduyn, chief and director of medical affairs at Providence.

With this new initiative, physicians and clinicians at Providence and St. Michael’s can jointly review X-ray reports through a single, integrated system.

“This facilitates better communication between the diagnostic imaging teams within the network, while helping to bring a new level of electronic readiness to Providence,” said Dawn-Marie King, St. Michael’s director of Medical Imaging and Laboratory Medicine.

The first diagnostic imaging collaboration began in 2017 when we opened access to Providence’s patients to receive MRI and CT scans at St. Michael’s in dedicated time blocks every week. We have seen a positive improvement in wait times for patients, and this efficiency has created a better patient experience.

“Together, we’re harnessing the power of digital connections for higher quality care and operational excellence.” – Dr. Ashley Verduyn, chief and director of Medical Affairs, Providence

“If patients have had MRI or CT tests at St. Michael’s, the radiologists can now see the complete imaging reports, including their X-ray results,” said King.

This was highly co-ordinated through extensive work between Unity Health’s Information Technology, Radiology, and Imaging Picture Archiving Communications System teams.

“We’re grateful to the teams involved that brought this opportunity to fruition. Together, we’re harnessing the power of digital connections for higher quality care and operational excellence,” said Dr. Verduyn.