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Excellent Care for All

The Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS)

Health Care Challenge

When a patient suffers a head trauma each second between injury and diagnosis is critical. Transferring head trauma patients can be very risky and can cause tremendous stress on their families. It also comes with significant costs to the health care system. Prior to ENITS, the majority of emergency head trauma cases were transferred either to a neurosurgical centre in Ontario or to a similar facility in the United States. The average cost of these out-of-country transfers is approximately $100,000.

The challenge was to improve access to expert neurosurgery care for patients across Ontario, regardless of their location.

Real Change In Action

The Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS) is a centralized web-based image archive that makes remote neuro consultations easier, faster and more accurate.

Referring hospitals across the province can send emergency CT head scan images to ENITS where they are accessed and viewed, at any time, by on-call neurosurgeons from any of the province’s 13 neurosurgical centres.

For patients, ENITS means a decrease in time required to receive an informed diagnosis, the reduced likelihood of unnecessary transfers, the ability to receive quality service closer to home and improved access to Ontario neurosurgical resources when time is critical.

“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” says Dr. James Rutka, Neurosurgeon, Hospital for Sick Children and Chair of the Neurosurgery Expert Panel.

The number of neurosurgical referrals through CritiCall Ontario, where ENITS is consulted, was 4,361 between April 2010 and March 2011. The percentage of patients transferred in that same period was 38% compared to 51.6% of patients transferred just three years prior, before ENITS was implemented.

Better Quality, Sustainable Care

Avoiding the unnecessary transfer of head trauma patients wherever possible can have a profound impact on health outcomes and the well-being of patients and their families. ENITS has dramatically improved access to neurosurgical expertise and removed geographical barriers. ENITS can be life saving because it enables the increased speed and ease with which patients with severe head injuries can receive proper diagnosis and the urgent care they need, when and where they need it.

Virtual neurosurgical consultations have also reaped substantial health care savings, which will benefit the sustainability of the system over time.

ENITS is the recipient of the Showcase Ontario 2011 Merit Award and the Showcase Ontario 2011 Award of Excellence, both in the “Innovation” category.

Learn more on the eHealth Ontario website, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website and CritiCall’s website.

Contact person :
Angela Lianos
Director, Diagnostic Imaging Program
eHealth Ontario
Tel: 416.324.0802
E-mail: angela.lianos@ehealthontario.on.ca

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm