Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) is funded by several
participating hospitals: eHealth Ontario, an agency of the province’s Ministry of
Health and Long-Term Care charged with establishing electronic health records
for the province’s 15 million residents; and Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit
corporation funded by the Government of Canada with a mandate to create a
Pan-Canadian electronic health record.
The system started as a pilot project in 2004 with eight locations, including London
Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London, and six community
hospitals. At the outset, there was no point of reference for creating a regional
system for sharing diagnostic images. Most individual hospitals were already
acquiring and storing images digitally through individual PACS, and several had
joined to create local information hubs to cost-share technology and resources.
SWODIN took the concept of local hubs to a regional level. The project engaged
clinicians, group practices, and leadership across Southwestern Ontario to achieve
consensus and to maximize the positive impact on patient care. The resulting
technology and infrastructure network links individual systems that use many
different vendor platforms through a unified, web-based interface. Ultimately,
SWODIN will serve as one of the models for interconnected network covering the
entire province and eventually all of Canada.