Kingston Health Science Centre (KHSC) and Providence Care have entered into an agreement, alongside four other hospital organizations in southeastern Ontario, with Cerner Corporation to implement a shared health information system (HIS), which includes electronic health records.
Once implemented, the regional system supported by Cerner Millennium® will replace paper-based records, and provide a single source of individuals’ health information and clinical tools that will help healthcare workers coordinate and deliver safe, high-quality care throughout the region, according to a release from KHSC.
Currently, individual’s health information exists in many different systems that don’t connect to each other. When people receive care from multiple healthcare providers and settings in the region, they are often expected to track and share their own complex medical information, and frequently have to repeat tests because healthcare providers do not have easy access to information about the care people have received elsewhere, according to the release.
“Efficient and safe health care relies on informed decision making by engaged care teams. Throughout the selection process and well into the planning for system transformation, it’s been clear that the stakeholder hospitals, regional Ontario Health Teams and Cerner share a vision for connected, patient-centric care,” said Jim Shave, president, Cerner Canada. “We look forward to welcoming the southeast team to the collaborative group of Cerner clients who are advancing health care delivery through the effective use of technology and data.”
The regional HIS’s evolution to include long-term care and community care modules, and a pilot in 2023 for primary care, aligns with the aim of Ontario Health Teams to have health-care providers work as one coordinated team to make it easier for people to navigate the system and transition between providers.
“I firmly believe that this vital system transformation will ultimately help people, seamlessly, through their health journeys – regardless, from which setting, in our region, they receive care,” said Penny Green, one of the patient experience advisors involved in the project and a member of the project’s steering committee.
According to the release, community members with experience accessing care in southeastern Ontario have been working, and will continue to work, alongside healthcare providers to implement the regional HIS, ensuring it meets the unique needs of people in our region.
“I wholeheartedly believe that the involvement of patient experience advisors in this project has made a real difference,” Green said. “By continuously emphasizing, together, ‘what is best for individuals receiving care,’ we have envisioned a system that will deliver more connected care for all of us.”
The six hospital organizations partnering to implement a regional HIS are: Brockville General Hospital, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital, Providence Care, and Quinte Health Care.
It is anticipated that the implementation of the regional health information system in the southeast will take approximately three years.