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Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

When we originally received the challenge we felt we didn’t have a story to share.  We haven’t had our “Go-Live” moment with two more months of testing and training ahead. And yet the process of implementing an EHR has impacted our business at CHEO.  The total impact has yet to be measured, what we gained as a team is invaluable.   Our business is caring for patients and their families and we take pride in what we do!  Our situation is unique; a bilingual, academic paediatric tertiary care centre serving a population including several provinces and territories. Like many hospitals, our teams are organized into departments and clinics; physician, nursing and health professional groups; lab and ancillary services. We are a productive team but our EHR implementation is teaching us the value of each member.  Our plan – “one patient – one record” is simple and focuses on bringing the entire team together.  We had the opportunity to step back from our day-to-day routines and examine how we work. The medical care we provide is sound, and with our EHR implementation, our processes will be too.   Mapping our workflow to replicate processes electronically meant learning what each person/role brings to the care team and identified opportunities to collect information once and make available to other providers. Patients no longer need to repeatedly answer the same questions about vitamins or immunization status.  Through collaboration with our laboratory teams we have streamline ordering and processing of lab tests.  We learned the important steps – each team member plays vital to the high quality patient care we deliver – clerks registering patients, nurses completing preliminary assessments, lab technologists processing tests, doctors delivering diagnoses, rehab therapists providing care and health records managing patients’ records.  We’ve also building on our successes.  Observing that our physician education sessions had a positive impact, we expanded to all care team members.  This inclusive approach helps break down barriers that can exist within healthcare.  Together, our teams share best practices with other clinics, finding more efficiencies and innovations.  Our team is empowered and an empowered team delivers. Earlier this year, we shared with the Minister of Health, the Honourable Leona Agluukaq how the EHR implementation was much more than creating a documentation tool.  We were proud to introduce her to our multi-disciplinary team.  By simulating a new patient visit and by speaking to a family, she saw how changes introduced will improve their experience.  Attached is a team picture showcasing her visit with our team, centred around our patient, Kate. Implementing an EHR is not easy.   It’s tough to admit there is room for improvement.  CHEO took the opportunity not only to build a tool, but to build a team, focusing how our contribution supports the care team, and most importantly, our patient.   This year, we are proud to say our business has improved thanks to the people that are supporting the EHR.  Our team is stronger with the investment we received.