Every year approximately a quarter of a million people access comprehensive medical imaging services at North York General Hospital (NYGH). Radiologists use different imaging technologies to perform a range of diagnostic and monitoring functions from evaluating the pumping function of the heart to providing cross-sectional images of a person’s bones, blood vessels and soft tissues.
NYGH recently improved its capacity to deliver these critical diagnostic services thanks to a new MRI suite installed in the hospital’s Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji Family Foundation Centre for Medical Imaging.
The advanced 1.5T MRI—made possible by a lead gift from Gulshan & Pyarali G. Nanji—is improving patient care and experiences by delivering faster and clearer images, reducing the time spent in the imaging tunnel, and using quieter technology.
The Medical Imaging Department also uses an innovative digital tool called OrderWise. The real-time, evidence-based tool quickly shows referring physicians the best imaging options for their patients using clinical information from a patient’s electronic medical record.
NYGH was the first hospital in Canada to introduce this tool for MRI and CT referrals from NYGH’s emergency department (ED). NYGH has now expanded its use to include CT and MRI scans requested by physicians who use the Ocean e-Referral Network platform for patients outside the hospital and in the community—another first in Canada.
“Ensuring referring practitioners in the community have the information they need so patients can receive an imaging referral that is right for them and at the right time is the goal,” says Dr. Ryan Margau, Chief Radiologist and Medical Director, Department of Medical Imaging at North York General Hospital.
NYGH’s adoption of OrderWise was recognized by Choosing Wisely Canada—an international program that focuses on improving quality and efficiency by reducing unnecessary tests and treatments.
Dr. Margau is also co-leading the development of national guidelines through the Canadian Association of Radiologists to help health care professionals in Canada integrate imaging referrals into tools like OrderWise.
In addition to the new MRI suite and use of OrderWise, NYGH also recently installed a new gamma camera that uses nuclear imaging technology to provide information about the structure and function of an area in the body to see not only what it looks like but how it’s working. The camera is specifically supporting NYGH’s cardiac and cancer care programs and was made possible thanks to the support of NYGH donors.
“By adopting cutting-edge technologies like the new MRI, OrderWise and the gamma camera and by participating in Choosing Wisely, we are supporting physicians in making evidence-based decisions that will lead to better patient outcomes.” says Dr. Donna McRitchie, Vice President, Medical and Academic Affairs.
This article first appeared in the March 2023 issue of The Pulse.
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