With the goal of building a truly integrated health care system, SIMS has made progress on several fronts. Some of our integration achievements include:
- An integrated electronic health record (iEHR): Our iEHR gives more than 7,000 health care workers in primary, acute, rehab, community and continuing-care settings secure access to patients’ lab and pathology results, along with discharge summary notes and other results and notes. The benefits include less duplication of tests and timely information.
- Resource Matching and Referral Project (RM&R): By using a Web form containing patient demographics that are automatically generated from the health information systems, physicians can send electronic referrals to receiving providers. The RM&R system eliminates paper and faxes, speeding up the referral timeline.
- Emergency room notifications: This project won a Canadian Information Productivity Award in the Exceptional Innovation category – the ‘Oscars’ of the information technology world. When patients enter an ER, patients who may be candidates for homecare services are “flagged” and a Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) Care Coordinator automatically receives an electronic alert about the patient. The alert allows the Care Coordinator to meet with the patient and arrange CCAC services in advance as needed (e.g. arranging for home care visits). Because of ER notifications, the number of Toronto Central CCAC referrals from UHN has quadrupled.
- Chronic disease management (CDM): CDM is a multi-sector approach to improving the way care providers manage diabetes. The program addresses gaps in service delivery and identifies new clinical roles to allow coverage across all clinical services for seamless diabetes care.
- Critical Care Information System (CCIS): CCIS allows for the electronic collection of adult medical/surgical Intensive Care Units (ICU) hospital and patient-specific, critical care data across Ontario. This includes patient demographics, encounter information and life support intervention data. The CCIS Provincial Implementation won an award of merit from the Public Sector Quality Fair.
- Patient Portal: A web-based personal health application that can integrate with an electronic health record to support patients in management of their own health care, patient portals seek to strengthen relationships between patients and their health care team while improving patient outcomes. Portals are designed to be secure and easy to use, providing patients with personalized information, care/treatment plans, education, clinical data and links to community programs from the comfort of their own home or office.
- Telehealth videoconferencing: With the click of a remote, University Health Network (UHN) physicians and their patients, once separated by distance, can be linked through a secure service using a computer and video technology. Now, through the help of SIMS, UHN physicians can book Telehealth appointments directly through a scheduling system linked with the hospital information system.