A collaborative study: 24 hospitals, one health record

Photo: Helen King / Getty Images

The ONE initiative in northeastern Ontario connects 24 acute care hospitals to a single, shared electronic health information system.

UN – One Person, One Record, One System – uses standardized, evidence-based best clinical practices in two dozen organizations that have unique cultures, patient populations, clinical workflows, and governance philosophies.

How hospitals got there is the focus of a HIMSS21 session, “24 Hospitals, ONE Recording: A Collaborative Study,” Tuesday, August 10, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. in the Venetian Lando 4301 room in Las Vegas . .

The work was guided by an executive steering committee made up of CEOs. All 24 Northeastern Ontario Acute Care Hospital Boards are committed to working together to achieve EMR and clinical standardization, says Dr. Derek Garniss, director of medical information and director Emergency Medical Officer at Sault Area Hospital in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

Garniss speaks with Chantal Gagné, RN and Director of Inpatient and Surgical Services at the North Bay Regional Health Center in Ontario.

The ONE regional partnership benefits clinicians with a more efficient workflow, real-time notifications, and full and timely access to a patient’s history. Care decisions are made on the basis of the most recent and accurate information available through the use of evidence-based standards.

Unified health records reduce the likelihood of duplicate work and unnecessary testing.

Patients benefit from an improved and safer care experience through shared information. Patients transferred from one hospital to another will not have to undergo duplicate tests or tell their story over and over again, Garniss said. Their file will be complete and understood by all thanks to a technology aligned with the rest of the province.

ONE enables precise recording that moves with them within and between hospitals, Garniss said.

The first phase of the project, WAVE 1, began in 2017 and involved the North Bay Regional Health Center, West Parry Sound Health Center and Sault Area Hospital.

WAVE 1 was a great company, Garniss said, involving complex and integrated collaboration over great distances. Physicians and departmental teams from these three sites worked together for two years to plan and build the system and to develop and deliver training to physicians and staff to support the transition to new technology and new workflows, a he declared.

In October 2019, each of the WAVE 1 hospitals connected to the new shared system, resulting in a huge transformation from aging and segregated health information systems, which were a mix of paper and old technologies previously exploited by these hospitals, according to Garniss.

The result is a unique Northeastern Ontario hospital information system for data collection and management that connects healthcare professionals. This unique system will also facilitate a platform for increased participation between providers, as well as population health planning.

The initiative is supported by the Health Information System Roadmap, including the installation of MEDITECH Expanse, which serves as the regional HIS for the 24 acute care hospitals.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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