Electronic health record now available for 3.6 million south west Ontario residents
Over 37,000 health care professionals securely access electronic patient information
London, ON. – Over 37,000 doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals across south west Ontario (SWO) are now able to securely access electronic patient information from the region’s 67 hospitals, four Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), four regional cancer programs and provincial clinical systems for laboratory tests and results, and diagnostic imaging via the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnectTM.
For the first time, patient health information from across the continuum of care can be accessed by authorized health care professionals to gather essential patient data in seconds from those organizations using ehealth technology. The implementation of an integrated electronic health record (EHR) has been achieved in south west Ontario – from Windsor to Tobermory to Guelph and through Niagara Falls.
The connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program, funded by eHealth Ontario, achieved a major milestone in July of 2015, when the final acute care hospital sites were successfully integrated with the regional clinical viewer. ClinicalConnect is a secure, web-based portal that provides authorized physicians and health care professionals with real-time access to their patients’ EHRs. eHealth Ontario and the cSWO Program, in partnership with Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and health service providers in south west Ontario, are enabling health care systems to share patient information across the sector and the province.
“The cSWO Program is providing clinicians with timely access to hospital clinical records throughout south west Ontario,” said Dr. James MacLean, cSWO Program clinical advisor. “This has enabled health care providers across the continuum of care to make more informed decisions resulting in better patient outcomes.”
Health and Long-Term Care Minister Eric Hoskins stated, “This is a significant milestone. Enabling clinicians and health care professionals to access patients’ information, such as lab results, diagnostic images and hospital reports in a timely way is very important in providing high-quality patient care and supports improved access to care and our government’s Patients First Action Plan.”
“In the past, we had essentially no access to patient information from other hospitals so it often took many days after admission to get a complete picture of the patient’s past history. This often resulted in repeat tests, miscommunication and delayed care. Now, with the click of a mouse I can be instantly looking at consult notes, discharge summaries, radiology reports and lab data from previous hospital visits from across South West Ontario,” said Dr. Rob Lloyd, Pediatric Critical Care Unit, McMaster Children’s Hospital. “ClinicalConnect provides meaningful benefits to both patients and providers, it is a remarkable ehealth solution; one that is truly changing the way health care is delivered in our region.”
South west Ontario clinicians and health care professionals using the integrated EHR work across the continuum of care, including at 69 hospital sites (acute and non-acute, 100 per cent), four CCACs (100 per cent), 1,633 primary care organizations, 218 community services organizations, and four public health units, which are all consuming data through ClinicalConnect.
Health care organizations must handle a patient’s personal health in strict confidence and in accordance with Ontario’s health privacy law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004). Patient information is used only as authorized or required by law.
The cSWO Program has implemented a benefits realization program to understand how the integrated EHR further enables health care professionals to provide quality care to their patients and increase their efficiency by eliminating the need to manage paper-based records, reducing of duplicate tests and focuses health care delivery.
Source – eHealt Ontario Press Release