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Hospital partnership uses advanced technology to transform care

Four area hospitals are working together to transform care through a shared Health Information System (HIS) which will enable more integrated care, while enhancing safety and quality.

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH), Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH - Midland), Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC - Orangeville) and Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH - Barrie) are partnering to upgrade to the latest version of the MEDITECH platform, called Expanse, which will create a shared electronic medical record system across all four organizations enabling a more seamless flow of information between the hospital and their departments.

"MEDITECH Expanse is a powerful, web-based tool that brings all of a patient's medical information into one unified health record and gives clinicians the full picture about a patient's health and medical history anywhere and at any time," explains Gail Hunt, GBGH president and CEO. "By seeing the patient's entire medical journey, clinicians can more easily identify risks and make more timely, better informed decisions leading to improved outcomes. The result will be safer, more coordinated, timely patient care."

The four hospitals, which collectively reported almost 900,000 patient visits last year, have a strong track record of working together to improve patient care and have shared the MEDITECH health information system for over 20 years. This major system upgrade will take the partnership to the next level, ensuring continuity of care between hospitals and caregivers through a 'one patient; one record' approach.

"Whether you are a hospital inpatient, cared for at one of our clinics, get an X-ray, undergo surgery, or come to the Emergency Department, all your information is added to a secure, accurate electronic file that allows your care team to have immediate access to important information about your care," says Janice Skot, RVH president and CEO. "This is especially important to patients who receive care at their local hospital as well as at one of RVH's regional programs, such as cardiac, cancer, child & youth mental health or renal. Everyone who cares for you will have access to the same information about you."

The advanced technology, hosted by RVH, is designed to improve the patient experience as well.

"By improving technology and providing real-time access to vital patient information, we will reduce the duplication of tests and patients won't have to keep repeating their medical history with every new clinical interaction," says Stacey Daub, HHCC president and CEO. "Eventually patients will have direct access to their own medical information, including test results, medication history and scheduled appointments. This technology will empower patients and enable them to be partners in their own care." This complex, multifaceted project is scheduled to go-live at all four hospitals in September 2021.

"This vital upgrade represents a significant investment in patient care and safety," says Norah Holder, CGMH president and CEO. "It will also impact the day-to-day work of all staff and physicians at each organization, increasing efficiency and streamlining workflow. The initiative will allow hospitals to accelerate their innovative digital strategy while helping deliver on their promise of exceptional patient care."

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As the provincial government continues to transform the healthcare system and introduce Ontario Health Teams, connectivity amongst healthcare providers will be a key element of the strategy to create an integrated, seamless system of care.

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