Over 90 per cent Growth in Digital Health Users for Outcomes Challenge

Participants report more than 3 million uses as award recipients announced

(Ottawa, ON) – Infoway's ImagineNation Outcomes Challenge participants serve as examples of how the adoption and use of digital solutions that improve health care can be increased across Canada, according to Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway.

Some 43 teams from across Canada with a range of innovations took part, from online access to lab test results in B.C. to tools to systematically report cancer pathology results in Ontario. Together, they achieved more than 3 million uses of their solutions since January 2012, along with a 94.7 per cent increase in users.

"We're delighted that participating teams clocked over 3 million uses of their solutions and nearly doubled the number of users during the Challenge," said Alvarez. "We encourage others to follow the lead of these innovators in using IT to improve health care."

Teams whose solutions were used most over the course of the Challenge and those with the strongest growth in users in any of the four Challenge categories receive Outcomes Challenge awards.

Bridget Davison is a manager at one of the 14 British Columbia clinics whose team was awarded first place in the e-Scheduling category. She says digital health innovation has transformed her work environment.

"Before we started using e-Scheduling, patients would leave voice mail messages with their appointment requests, which would be manually retrieved and then managed using a paper appointment book before calling them back. You can imagine how much time both our patients and clinic staff are saving now that it's all being managed automatically online," said Davison.

Team leader for a first place Medication Reconciliation team from Ontario, pharmacist Andrew Liu, notes he is not only pleased by his team's results, but also with the impact on quality of care.

"Our electronic medication reconciliation solution makes it easier for clinicians to compare home prescriptions with hospital orders, ensuring safer care for our patients," said Liu. "We're delighted to have been able to bring these benefits to more patients in the course of the Challenge and to share our experiences with other teams."

Award recipients by category (see Backgrounder for description of projects):

Enables patients to book appointments online or by mobile device, which can save both patients and clinicians time.

  • First place: Team of 14 clinics, British Columbia
  • Second Place: Team of 49 clinics, Québec
  • Third place: Canadian Blood Services

Patient Access to Health Information
Empowers patients to view their own health information, such as lab results or immunization history.

  • First place: Excelleris, British Columbia
  • Second place: West Carleton Family Health Team, Ontario
  • Third place: Wise Elephant Family Health Team, Ontario

Medication Reconciliation
Improves medication safety by making it easier to take a complete medication history and ensure new prescriptions or changes in medications are reconciled with this list.

  • First place (tie): Toronto East General Hospital, Ontario
  • First place (tie): University Health Network, Ontario
  • Third place: Mount Sinai Hospital, Ontario

Clinical Synoptic Reporting
Improves clinical communication by having evidence-embedded tools available at the point of care, making it easier to create structured summaries of the patient's current care that can be used by the health care team.

  • First place: Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Ontario
  • Second Place (tie): University Health Network, Ontario
  • Second place (tie): North York General Hospital, Ontario

New Challenge Launched Today

As a follow-up to the successful Outcomes Challenge, Infoway today launched the Impact Challenges, a new series of three Challenges that will be rolled out over the coming weeks. Phase one of the Impact Challenges begins May 27, 2013 and will run until July 31, 2013. See backgrounder for description.

Supporting Organizations

We thank the following leading Canadian health care organizations for working with Infoway to help shape the Challenge by providing expert advice, encouraging participation and promoting the Challenge and its results:

Why a Challenge?

Challenges are a good way of eliciting and spreading innovation. In a fall 2010 Ipsos survey, gathering information about Canadians' priorities for consumer health solutions, 85 per cent of respondents agreed that running challenges like this one was a good way to get and test new ideas about how to provide health information products and services. Infoway has committed to engage in open challenges to encourage broader innovation in a cost-effective and timely way, while fostering a community of innovators across the country. The ImagineNation Outcomes Challenge is part of Infoway's ongoing innovation program. Learn more at http://www.imaginenationchallenge.ca/.

About Canada Health Infoway:

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

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For more information:

Karen Schmidt
Director, Corporate/Internal Communications
Canada Health Infoway
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