The eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) has been involved with various Personal Health Records, Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and research and education initiatives over the last several years. These initiatives have included the Project CARE (Cultivating Adoption of Regional eHealth) and Project ALIVE (Advancing and Leveraging the Investment Value in EMRs).
Many of these ehealth initiatives were started at the Centre for Family Medicine Family Health Team (CFFM FHT) before the formalization of the eCE and continue to influence work that is happening in other programs now run through our organization.
Please see below for more information on these programs.
Project CARE (Cultivating Adoption of Regional eHealth), funded by eHealth Ontario, was executed by the CFFM FHT before the formation of the eCE. This project established the CFFM FHT as a leader in ehealth in Waterloo Wellington.
Project CARE began in May, 2012, as one of the connecting South Western Ontario (cSWO) Program’s clinical value initiatives to improve care delivery in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN). The project deployed the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™ across the WWLHIN and supported the addition of WWLHIN hospital data to the ClinicalConnect viewer. This was the first expansion of ClinicalConnect outside the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN.
Project CARE relied on a structured yet tailored change management approach towards adoption and sustainability. This approach resulted in rapid adoption of ClinicalConnect, improved utilization of ClinicalConnect, improved user proficiency, and contributed to an overall positive culture of change and enhanced sustainability post-implementation. Project CARE also collected lessons learned that had broader implications for the deployment of ClinicalConnect across south west Ontario.
Project CARE came to a close in January, 2014. The deployment of ClinicalConnect continues through the cSWO Program, and the eCE continues to serve as the Change Management and Adoption Delivery Partner for cSWO in Waterloo Wellington.
There are hundreds of different ways to record disease conditions within EMR software, especially chronic disease conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. This makes it challenging to compile, analyze, understand and share patients’ EHRs stored in the EMR. Project ALIVE, an initiative executed by the eCE and funded by eHealth Ontario, was designed to create a model for improving the clinical value of information in the EMR through standardization/codification of data, generating reports, and understanding the supports needed by primary care to facilitate the advanced use of EMRs.
Project ALIVE had two streams of activity. In Stream 1, the project team worked with a group of clinicians to standardize a set of chronic disease conditions in their EMRs for approximately 40,000 patients. From this work, the project team was able to assess the best way to support clinicians to code and standardize this data, and they also identified a number of benefits to this standardization, including benefits relating to more accurate management of patient populations with chronic diseases.
In Stream 2, Project ALIVE investigated the current state and use of data in clinicians’ EMRs through a research survey and engagement of a broad group of clinicians. This information helped develop an understanding of the current use of EMRs and informed the model for supporting clinicians to standardize data and improve use of their EMR on a wider scale.
Project ALIVE concluded October 2014, after producing a final report of the findings of this project and a model for future EMR standardization and codification, which is work that the eCE continues to do through different programs and initiatives.