Each morning palliative care physician, Dr. Jean Mathews, starts his day at Providence Care logging into the organization’s electronic patient record to get a real-time update on the status of all of his current patients.
“When I log into the system, I can see all of my patients in one list and when I open a particular patient’s file, I can see all of the clinical documentation without needing to locate a physical paper chart. I can see if there were any issues overnight, whether the nursing team or allied health team noticed any concerns I should be aware of, medications administered both scheduled and anything extra required. I get a good sense of all my patients right from my desktop, even before I go for rounds.”
Providence Care migrated to an electronic health record in 2017 which places patient, client and resident information at the fingertips of those that need it. Providence Care currently uses four different systems across our organization for our hospitals, community services and programs, and long-term-care.
“Before coming to Canada I was working as a physician in India, in a hospital that used a paper-based patient record, and I know the issues related to patient safety and quality of care when you’re using exclusively a paper system. There is more room for errors, more room for miscommunication, and at times, a lack of communication between health teams both within one hospital and between different care providers. There is such a benefit of having an electronic health system in terms of quality of care, patient safety and overall communication.”
Providence Care also makes use of digital room sign monitors outside of each patient and client room at Providence Care Hospital. This allows for easy access to information about the patient or client, like important precautions to take note off before entering a room.
“Digital health not only improves communication between providers, but it also helps with patient safety. A digital health system has a lot of in-built safety features to ensure we can get medication alerts, allergy alerts, drug interaction alerts; there are many benefits to a digital health system and the way we can provide safe and high-quality care for the people we serve.”
Things are about to get more streamlined in terms of digital health at Providence Care. Our organization has partnered with five other health care organizations across southeastern Ontario to launch the Lumeo Regional Health Information System (RHIS). Starting in December 2024, Brockville General Hospital, Perth & Smith Falls District Hospital, Quinte Health, Kingston Health Science Centre, Lennox & Addington General Hospital and Providence Care will be connected through Lumeo.
“With Lumeo these six health care organizations are going to be under one record, one system. So, I’ll be able to open a patent’s chart and see what happened at their emergency department visit in Napanee, or what happened at a specialist appointment with Kingston Health Sciences Centre or another hospital in the region; similarly, all the health care providers in the region will be able to see my notes in the system.”
Once implemented, the system will provide one single source of health information that will help health care workers coordinate and deliver safe, high-quality care throughout the region.
“It takes the burden off the patient and their families to remember what happened at a previous appointment and communicate that to the next provider they meet. The electronic health record will carry all of that information and it stays with the patient for all their visits.”
Over the next year, Dr. Mathews will continue to work on the implementation of Lumeo as a physician champion, using his knowledge and understanding about providing care as a physician in the Lumeo decision making processes.
Learn more about the Lumeo project here.