Technology advances at a rapid rate, especially in healthcare.
While that advancement can benefit areas such as medical imaging because of the potential for improvements to diagnosis and treat disease, the optimization of new technology is something generally left to each hospital and their clinicians. That means clinical competency and imaging equipment utilization can vary widely.
The new Centre for Inter-Professional Education in Imaging and Intervention (CIPEII) aims to change that.
Opened by Toronto's Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) on Wednesday night, the CIPEII at Toronto General Hospital is a key milestone for sharing advances in medical imaging to the broader healthcare community.
The state-of-the-art facility is an important part of JDMI's educational goal of advancing inter-professional and multi-disciplinary skills and learning. It offers a dedicated space for radiologists, technologists and nurses as well as radiologists, physicians and surgeons.
Located in the core of TGH's medical imaging area, the CIPEII provides an open-concept design with learning cubicles for small group study and a conference table for a larger group to undertake collaborative work.
As part of the JDMI's educational strategy, the CIPEII is an important milestone in the Program for Inter-Professional Competency Optimization (PICO) focused on skills advancement, new technology instruction and a virtual education program for medical imaging professionals locally and abroad.
"Currently, if JDMI staff, fellows, residents or visitors want to work on their educational curriculum research in collaboration with their colleagues, they have to huddle in control rooms, book time in meeting rooms, or work in the corner of their shared desks," says Dr. Narinder Paul, Chief of Education, JDMI.
"CIPEII offers a necessary alternative and is critical to fostering an environment of advanced learning at the JDMI."
On hand for CIPEII's opening were hospital executives, including UHN President and CEO, Dr. Peter Pisters, and program leaders including Dr. Larry White, Radiologist in Chief, JDMI, and Dr. Barry Rubin, Program Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. Hospital staff, including hospital administrators, doctors, nurses and technologists, as well as representatives from several industry partners were also present.
"The JDMI is committed to delivering exceptional patient care and the continuous improvement of our imaging standards and quality," says Dr. White. "The JDMI Centre for Inter-Professional Education in Imaging and Intervention provides our staff with the necessary space to identify new ways of optimizing imaging scans and sharing this information with our colleagues externally."
Transforming students into teachers
The JDMI is committed to on-going advancement. As new imaging techniques come into practice, the need to standardize training for imaging clinicians locally, nationally and internationally becomes more apparent.
The CIPEII is another significant stage in PICO's multi-step process to making diagnostic and interventional education more accessible.
The Advanced Imaging and Education Centre (AIEC), one of the pioneering initiatives towards PICO's vision, has been looking to help make this possible.
Since opening its doors in 2009, the AIEC, in partnership with JDMI and the University of Toronto, has taught advanced imaging techniques to close to 1000 participants from 30 countries. Students have taken the skills they acquired back to their local communities, often launching initiatives, including a virtual colonography program in Orillia and 3D cardiac imaging program in Lethbridge, Alta.
The CIPEII and AIEC are key components of the JDMI's educational vision.
"A medical imaging test is most often a pivotal first step in detecting disease at its earliest stage," says Dr. Paul. "The ability to accurately read and interpret the latest imaging tests and to perform advanced image guided procedures requires the continuous education of healthcare personnel.
"The CIPEII is a key milestone in our PICO vision which looks to share advances in medical imaging to the broader healthcare community."