IBM inks $3.3M health IT deal in Quebec

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The Agence de la sante et des services sociaux de Montreal has signed a five-year, $3.6 million ($3.3 million, U.S.) deal with Artefact Informatique, the health division of IBM's LGS Group, to build a registry for digital medical images based on the Canada-wide cross-enterprise document sharing (XDS) standard.

With the new tool, Quebec physicians will have electronic access to medical images stored in three secure digital imaging repositories throughout the province.

"The registry will enable Quebec family doctors to better serve their patients," said Raymond Carrier, project manager of the ministere de la Sante et des Services Sociaux du Quebec. "Medical professionals can search for, access and view digital images from their offices, regardless of where or how originals are stored. This is the final step that will lead to a comprehensive medical imaging domain solution as part of the Quebec EHR plan."

To use the tool, doctors will access IBM's cross-enterprise document sharing integration (XDS-I) registry to view a list of images on file for their patient. The IBM solution will provide a link or point to wherever the images are stored, in one of three digital imaging repositories the province maintains.

The registry conforms to the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) XDS-I Profile being promoted by Canada Health Infoway, IBM said. Because it is based on open industry standards, it is compatible with other EHR components, according to the Armonk, N.Y.-based company.

"Quebec is the first province to adopt the XDS-I standard as a province-wide solution for medical images," said Louise Beauchesne, executive regional director for Canada Health Infoway, Quebec region.

The new registry is expected to be available in 2010.