May 1, 2014 (Sudbury, ON) – Health Sciences North/Horizon Santé-Nord (HSN) has been recognized as a national leader for its use of electronic health records.
HSN is one of seven health-care providers across Canada to receive the LEADing Practice Award from Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), in partnership with Accreditation Canada. HSN's Ambulatory (Outpatient) Care Clinics earned the LEADing Practice Award for developing a system of electronic patient scheduling, documentation, decision support and record sharing. This system enables authorized members of the care team to access a patient's electronic health record (EHR) and to work collaboratively with local and regional team members to improve patient health outcomes, deliver high quality patient-centred care, and promote best practices.
"Our team is very excited to receive this award because it demonstrates the value of using digital health technology," says Joanne Guizzo, Clinical Manager of Ambulatory Care Clinics at HSN. "When we can document electronically, and access the records of other partners like primary care physicians, we can work more collaboratively, and that means better care for our patients."
Canada Health Infoway recently invested 7.4 million dollars to enable HSN's Outpatient Care Clinics and several other outpatient programs and affiliates to join the Northeastern Ontario Network (NEON). NEON is an electronic health records sharing network based at HSN and includes 22 hospitals and three independent health facilities across northeastern Ontario. By sharing standardized patient records electronically, members of NEON can provide their clinicians with instant, secure access to patient information, which leads to better coordinated care and less duplication of services.
"Leveraging digital solutions helps improve health care," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Our investments in Northeastern Ontario help to deliver better quality and access to care for patients and families, and I congratulate Health Sciences North for earning a LEADing Practice Award."
Other new programs joining NEON include NEO Kids (HSN's Pediatric Outpatient programs), the outpatient Oncology Program at the North East Cancer Centre (NECC), and the Sudbury Vascular Laboratory which is a private clinic affiliated with HSN that provides pre- and post-operative care to patients receiving a variety of vascular surgical procedures. Funding from Infoway also allowed HSN to create a shared system of electronic patient records between the Medical Oncology department of the NECC and the Algoma District Cancer Program based at Sault Area Hospital, and to integrate NEON's main electronic records system with other patient data bases in northeastern Ontario in such areas as nephrology, cardiac care, and mental health.
"Hospitals and other health care institutions across northeastern Ontario are increasingly using technologies and systems like NEON to make health care more user-friendly and effective for patients and clinicians, " says Tim Gehrke, Chair of NEON. "By ensuring clinicians both in hospitals and community settings have access to the same health records, we can make patient care more coordinated and consistent, and that means better results."
"Congratulations to HSN's Outpatient Care Clinics for winning this very prestigious national award, and congratulations to NEON for its successful expansion into outpatient care," says Dr. Denis Roy, HSN's President and CEO. "In our Strategic Plan, we've committed ourselves to aggressively pursuing a 'hospital-without-walls' philosophy that uses new technologies, new methods, and new ways of thinking to make care more accessible and successful for our patients. This is a great example of the success of this approach."
Funded by the federal government, Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through strategic investments, Infoway helps deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians.
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