A technology project that allows health care workers in AtlanticCanada to more easily share vital patient information is earningnational and international accolades. The project, a collaborative effort by the four Atlanticprovinces and Health Canada, was selected as Canada’s e-healthsubmission in a competition for a United Nations World SummitAward. Although the initiative did not win a title in the finalcompetition today, Dec. 10, in Geneva, Switzerland, healthministers from across the region say recognition of the projectbodes well for Atlantic Canadians. “Today’s health care system is using technology to improvepatient care in this region,” said Angus MacIsaac, Nova ScotiaHealth Minister. “Atlantic Canadians can be proud thatinformation technology projects developed and implemented hereare being recognized on the national and international stage.” The project is called Tele-i4, which stands for the inter-provincial integration of images and information. It has alsobeen referred to as Picture Archiving and Communication Systems(PACS). In essence, the technology allows hospitals to send digitalimages across a network to other hospitals within and across thefour provinces. Tele-i4 increases timely access to specialistsand has reduced the need to send patients out of their homeprovince or communities for diagnosis and treatment. “The government of New Brunswick is committed to improving accessto the province’s health care system. The Tele-i4 initiativesupports this commitment by promising to deliver appropriatediagnosis and treatment promptly, effectively and efficiently,especially for the many New Brunswickers who live in ruralareas,” said New Brunswick Health Minister Elvy Robichaud. Using this technology, a cardiac specialist in Halifax can reviewdigital images before an emergency surgery, while the patient isstill travelling by air ambulance from another community. Healthcare staff in Summerside can get a neurosurgeon in Saint John tohelp determine whether a patient with a head injury needs to besent out of province for treatment. “Working collaboratively among the four provinces has allowedeach of us to leverage our people and financial resources toimplement Tele-i4,” said Elizabeth Marshall, Newfoundland andLabrador’s Health Minister. “Atlantic Canadians will benefit fromcommon standards and one common network to share digital images.” “This is a wonderful example of how Atlantic collaboration canresult in enhanced services to our citizens,” said PEI HealthMinister, Chester Gillan. “Prince Edward Island has implementedthis technology provincewide, integrating images and informationfrom all acute care hospitals.” The Tele-i4 project is one of four health care technologyinitiatives funded jointly by the Atlantic provinces. It has alsoreceived funds from a Health Canada program, the Canada HealthInfostructure Partnership Program (CHIPP). The World Summit Award, a global three-year project, is aworldwide initiative to select, evaluate and promote the bestpractice examples of electronic technology and creativity. Itinvolves 136 countries. E-health is one of the eight categoriesfor the World Summit Awards. Nominated projects from the United Nations member countries wereevaluated by a selection jury in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,from Oct. 17 to 20. Many outstanding projects, including Tele-i4,were selected and presented at the four-day World Summit on theInformation Society which was held from Dec. 7 to 10 in Geneva. Visionary projects, innovative concepts and new products andservices that support the global use of information communicationtechnologies were featured at an exhibition and conference. Tele-i4 was among eight Canadian projects showcased during thisevent. For more information about the World Summit Award, see thewebsite at www.wsis-award.org . For more information about Tele-i4, see the Health Department website at www.gov.ns.ca/health/hia.