March 03, 2011
Digital Access To Neurosurgeons Around The Clock
E-health Remote Consultation System Has Saved Taxpayers $50 Million Since 2009
Trauma patients across Ontario now have access to a neurosurgeon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS) is a centralized e-Health online consultation system that makes remote neuro-consultations easier, faster and more accurate. Hospitals across the province send head scan images to ENITS where they can be accessed and reviewed by neurosurgeons anytime, anywhere.
This process previously operated on a patchwork system of phone calls – meaning patients often needed to be transferred to be seen in person for a consultation. ENITS now significantly reduces the need for patients to travel within and out-of-province, or out-of-country for treatment. Since January 2009, 1,558 patient transfers have been avoided, saving more than $50 million.
St. Joseph’s Health Centre is the 100th and final acute care centre to join ENITS and access head scans. Seventy neurosurgeons at 13 neurosurgical centres provide online consultations to acute care centres through this system.
As part of the Open Ontario plan, the government is committed to finding savings that can be used toward the health care on which Ontario families rely and providing more access to these services, while improving quality and accountability for patients.
“This is a significant milestone for improving patient care in Ontario through eHealth. It means that people right across the province will benefit from neurological specialists regardless of geography. It also means that unnecessary transfers will be avoided, sparing families needless travel, expense and worry.”
Deb Matthews, Health and Long-Term Care Minister
“ENITS provides the critical infrastructure physicians require to eliminate unnecessary transfers by connecting them to specialized neurosurgeons across the province in real time. This is a perfect example of how collaboration within the health care system is changing the way patients receive care.”
Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario
“For our patients, ENITS means better and faster access to the right care at the right time and in the right place. This investment in technology means that our patients can access neurological expertise in their Community Teaching Hospital while reducing the need for unnecessary travel. The value to the patient and the system is significant.”
Carolyn Baker, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Centre
“Hospitals will now be able to offer patients specialized consultations with on-call neurosurgeons across the province to determine whether or not patient transfer is required. The consultation process can be life-saving for head injured patients requiring urgent neurosurgical attention, and can facilitate the speed with which they are transferred to a specialized neurosurgical center.”
Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon, The Hospital for Sick Children
- The average cost of each out-of-country neurosurgery transfer is between $75,000 and $100,000.
- Since January 2009 2,404 head trauma neurosurgical cases have been referred to ENITS.
- eHealth Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care combined have provided $2.3 million to support the development and adoption of ENITS.
For further information please contact:
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
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