Wise-Elephant-FHT-e-Scheduling-v2--2013.01.22

Wise Elephant Family Health Team

As the director of a Family Health Team I’ve experienced firsthand the positive impact of public investment in digital health in my organization. The implementation of EMR, dashboarding, and electronic communication tools have dramatically changed our culture and have given us immense positives in four key areas: Engagement By giving them real-time access to clinical information, staff feel empowered to proactively engage patients and get immediate positive feedback about the contributions they make. Information on the health of patients is extracted directly from our EMR into our intelliDASH electronic dashboard that all staff have access to; allowing them to receive reminders of actions to take when patients come in, or be informed when patients need be contacted for preventative care. In the year since we’ve had the dashboard, cancer screening rates have improved by 20%, the number of smokers referred to cessation programs has improved by 25% and the level of satisfaction staff feel in the quality of care they provide has increased significantly. Efficiency The implementation of digital tools in our workplace has allowed us to automate processes that once took significant time and allocate staff to other projects. Our miDASH portal allows patients to securely communicate with practitioners electronically and to check on the results of tests and screenings; thus greatly reducing the time staff spend making and fielding calls to address routine matters. Further, the recent roll-out of our automated booking system lets patients reserve appointments and confirm upcoming bookings electronically. These initiatives have resulted in fewer missed appointments, improved access, and significantly, more time for staff to redirect to patients requiring greater support or invest areas such as program development. Innovation Incorporating digital tools into our organization has allowed us to dramatically evolve to meet the needs of our patients. Through EMR and our secure communication portals our team is able to see patients in the home, where they’re most needed and to collaborate with other health care providers by sharing clinical information and make referrals. The demographic shift in our society means the days of patients coming to an office and being helped by a single caregiver are in the past; with the tools we now have we are able be aligned with the strategic direction of healthcare. Growth  Leading-edge technology attracts leading-edge users. Having a strong electronic communication and information system in place has allowed us to attract and retain the brightest practitioners into our practice, which in turn has allowed us to recruit and develop a dynamic staff. Over the past four years we’ve grown from three physicians to ten, from four staff to over twenty and from one location to five. This growth would not have been possible or sustainable without electronic records and data tools providing the backbone of our practice. The changes that have come about for our organization from the investments in digital health have been meaningful and far-reaching; we look forward to continuing this journey and best helping our patients. Jaipaul Massey-Singh Wise Elephant FHT