Outpatient programs across northeastern Ontario to benefit from funding
Health Sciences North has received $7.4 million to expand its electronic records for outpatient programs across northeastern Ontario.
Canada Health Infoway, a not-for-profit organization created in 2001 by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to facilitate the adoption of electronic health records, provided the funding to the North Eastern Ontario Ontario Network, which is based at Health Sciences North.
Joanne Guizzo, Health Sciences North's clinical manager for ambulatory care services, said diabetes services switched to electronic records last November thanks to the funding.
“There's increased communication and collaboration,” she said about the new system. “We can also share that information more easily with other programs.”
She said clinicians do not have to repeat information patients have already heard from other health care professionals because they have instant access to their records.
Patients have also noticed a positive change in the health care service they receive, she said.
For their early implementation of the electronic health records system, Guizzo and her team were honoured with Canada Health Infoway's LEADing Practice Award.
“We appreciate being recognized and having the opportunity to discuss our adventure in implementing the system,” Guizzo said.
Gaston Roy, Health Sciences North's chief information officer, said the hospital has been able to connect 1,000 clinicians across northeastern Ontario to electronic patient records thanks to the $7.4 million from Canada Health Infoway.
But he said there are still many services at Health Sciences North that have not yet moved to electronic patient records.
Roy said over the next five years the hospital will work to create electronic medication and electronic records and create a system for physicians to make orders electronically.
He said moving away from paper records is a longterm goal, and will be achieved by switching one system at a time.