Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services

Founded in 2007, Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services (HDIRS) is an independent corporation responsible for building and operating a diagnostic imaging repository that enables storage and retrieval of electronic images, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, and patient records.

HDIRS is one of four diagnostic imaging repositories operating in Ontario as part of eHealth Ontario’s Diagnostic Imaging Program. HDIRS accelerates knowledge creation by facilitating better collaboration between health service providers. The knowledge not only makes for a better quality of patient care, it holds promise for a more effective and sustainable healthcare system that saves and prolongs the lives of more Ontarians.

Connecting Care From the Very Beginning

Traditionally, hospital corporations have developed, purchased and managed their own information technology, but with technology becoming more and more advanced, the ability to keep up is a challenge.

To ensure that hospitals can technically accommodate continuous quality improvement and enhanced patient care, a number of hospital corporations collaborated to create Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Repository Services Incorporated (HDIRS).

Formed with the founding goal of creating a shared diagnostic imaging repository, HDIRS is managing the development, implementation and operation of a shared system. By working together, HDIRS partners are achieving economies of scale and shared service benefits that could not have been realized independently.

In the first stage of the HDIRS project, eight hospitals replaced film X-rays with digital technology called the picture archiving and communication system (PACS).

As a result of implementing PACS, the delay time between an X-ray being taken, clinicians receiving reports and the patients being treated has been drastically reduced. This is making a critical difference to patient care. In some cases, where every minute counts, the move from film to PACS has eliminated days of delays. Treatment occurs faster, which potentially saves lives and limits health complications.

With all members connected to the repository, the infrastructure to enable 38 health facilities to share diagnostic images (such as X-rays and ultrasounds) and reports has been created.  Also, with the support of eHealth Ontario, Independent Health Facilities (IHFs) are now being integrated to HDIRS. More than half of the diagnostic imaging exams in Ontario are performed in IHFs, and integration to the provincial infrastructure provides an important link in the continuum of care.

Looking to the future, the implementation of PACS and the technology that supports HDIRS partner hospitals and client Independent Health Facilities, sharing X-rays has created a foundation upon which other advanced healthcare technologies can be implemented.

Links & Updates

HDIRS is a member of the Ontario Hospital Association.

Click here to see a list of all connected sites.