Improving patient access to health records

Improving patient access to health records

For patients in South West Ontario who want to access their health records online, the wait is getting shorter.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) has received funding to launch a portal which will serve 3.6 million patients from Hamilton, across Southern Ontario and as far as Windsor. It’s the largest regional deployment of a patient-facing access channel in Ontario.

“Make patients’ access to their health record information a reality.”

The portal will integrate data from HHS’ ClinicalConnect system – which aggregates health records from Ontario hospitals, health systems and cancer programs – and deliver it to patients through Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s MyChart application, which is partnering with HHS on this deployment.

Patients will have a comprehensive view of their health record information. This includes being able to read their test results, share records with their doctors and caregivers, enter their own health information within a secure personal health record space, access health education materials, and securely communicate with health providers.

“As the solution provider for ClinicalConnect, we have experienced first-hand the benefits and impact that electronic health solutions have on improved patient safety and quality of care,” says Mark Farrow, Vice President & Chief Information Officer at HHS. “Now, we are pleased to partner with Sunnybrook Health Sciences to make patients’ access to their health record information a reality in South West Ontario.”

The portal’s initial deployment will begin with roughly 65,000 patients. The initiative is being funded by Canada Health Infoway, a federally funded organization which invests in projects that connect technology with health care.

Improving patient safety: Electronic health record implemented at WLMH

Hamilton Health Sciences’ vision to achieve the best care for all requires us to plan for the continuous improvement of everything we do to meet the evolving needs of patients across all of our hospitals.

At West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, one of the most recent investments to improve the standard of care is the implementation of an electronic health record (e-record).

The hospital already uses electronic health information technology to communicate and report diagnostic tests and lab results. The expansion of the e-record will give staff, midwives and physicians access to more of the information they need to inform care decisions.

This is a significant advance in how we care for patients

It tells the patient story in real-time and patient information is immediately available in an easy-to-read and organized electronic chart. It also makes it possible to standardize documentation processes across all disciplines and clinical areas across HHS, and supports the sharing of information between units and health care providers when patients are being transferred or when a consult is required.

“This is a significant advance in how we care for patients,” says Cindy MacDonald, Director of Community Programs at WLMH. “It will improve access to vital information by members of the healthcare team so that informed decisions can be made about care delivery for each patient. The e-record will also make it possible for staff and physicians across HHS to collaborate in planning care regardless of a patient’s location.”

The implementation of the e-record started in April with patients admitted through the Emergency Department. Over the upcoming weeks, the e-record will be phased in across all programs at WLMH.