Marilyn C

Morrisburg, ON – As a Family Physician working in rural Eastern Ontario, digital technology has become essential for the care of patients.  Envisioning the Health Care ‘home’ has been the role of the family physician for decades but without access to all of the necessary information, the task was often inefficient and resulted in long delays for reports to arrive. When we began using our EMR in 2005, we had 4 offices covering a stretch of 60km along the north shore of the St Lawrence Seaway.  In 2005, we adopted one of only 2 EMR’s that were able to integrate our 4 offices and provide access off site if needed at our homes and at the hospital.  The funding through the Early Adopters program has been essential over the years as our investment in hardware and software (exclusive of high bandwidth, secure internet needs) now reaches $1,000,000.00 in the past 8 years. Other digital technology initiatives since then have only added to our ability to provide quality, timely care in this rural community.  Winchester Hospital has been the host site for the Champlain LHIN’s server and as such has allowed the physicians with privileges there to enjoy access to several pilot projects including eConsult, remote access to the hospital EMR and most recently the NeoDIN-DIR remote access pilot. None of these initiatives came cheap but the savings to the system in time, risk reduction and reduced duplication has more than paid for the cost of the investment.  Hopefully there is more to come!