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Partnerships in eHealth 2017: A Big Success!

This past month, the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) was delighted to be hosting our 3rd annual “Partnerships in eHealth” symposium, with this year’s theme focusing on Transformational Change.


To kick things off, attendees heard some fascinating keynote addresses from three speakers. First, Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Bob Bell provided an update on "Patients First", a comprehensive, ambitious and transformative strategy for healthcare in Ontario. During his talk, Dr. Bell noted that the adoption of digital health tools that enhance clinical workflows is part of Patients First’s commitment to provide Ontarians with better and faster access to high quality, integrated health services, and the eCE is proud to be supporting this initiative.



Huda Idrees, CEO of Dot Health, was next to speak, and her talk focused on turning the healthcare system on its head, creating a bottom-up economy by using technology to give patients access to their own information – empowering them to improve their health and keeping them out of hospitals and at home, where they want to be. 


In his speech, Chief Bryan Larkin, Waterloo Regional Police Service, spoke about opportunities for collaboration and integration between sectors. He suggested that we start shifting traditional job roles in innovative new ways that better suit the needs of the residents living in our community – or in other words, we should start taking a look at the "unusual suspects" to drive change.



For the second portion of the event, attendees broke into three groups to discuss the past, present, and future state of healthcare with sessions moderated by:

  • Dr. Upe Mehan, Family Doctor at the Centre for Family Medicine Family Heath Team
  • Ted Alexander, Manager of Benefits Realization for the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program
  • Krizia Francisco, Portfolio Manager, Digital Health & Innovation for the ‎Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN)



We are collecting notes from these breakout sessions to help us inform the work we’re doing here at the eCE. Click here to read about how your input from last year’s event influenced the development of our System Coordinated Access (SCA) program.


Overall, it was an invigorating, engaging and collaborative day – and we’re already excited to do it all again next year! Thank you to everyone who took part, and watch this space for more updates.



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Spotlight on eConsults: Addictions

QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) is a program hosted by the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) that works to provide primary care providers within Waterloo Wellington with support to incorporate Telehealthcare services into their practice workflow.


Every month, we will be using our blog to highlight providers in our region who are offering Telehealthcare services – and this month, we would like to put the spotlight on Dr. Yelena Chorny.



Dr. Chorny is a local primary care provider with specialized training in addictions, and she accepts eConsults for patients of any age with suspected or known substance use disorders (including alcohol, illicit substances and prescribed medications). She has experience in outpatient community-based programs, inpatient/medical detox and residential treatment settings. 


Dr. Chorny has completed a fellowship in Addiction Medicine at CAMH in 2013 and was certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine in 2014.






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Big Milestone for Orthopedic Central Intake in Waterloo Wellington!

The Waterloo Wellington Regional Coordination Centre (RCC) is a valued partner of the eHealth Centre of Excellence, and we’re delighted to share that they have recently reached a significant milestone – on May 16, they celebrated the one year anniversary of the launch of their Orthopedic Central Intake (OCI)!

What is OCI?


“OCI offers a consistent regional approach for primary care providers and nurse practitioners making referrals to orthopedic specialists,” explains Cheryl Hambly, Referral Administrator at the RCC. “They fax their referral to us, and we take over from there.”


OCI’s referral process is based on the success of RCC’s Diabetes Central Intake (DCI), which was established in 2011 by the RCC, hosted by Langs Community Health Centre.


Here’s how it works: when a referral is faxed to the OCI, the referral administrators will first check the referral to make sure it is complete and has the proper imaging and/or documentation that any given specialist may require. The referral administrators will then enter it in a database and direct the referral to the orthopedic specialist who is most appropriate depending on the problem area identified by the primary care provider and proximity to the patient.


Having one centralized location to send referrals means that there are fewer duplicate referrals and less referrals getting lost in the system. Clinicians and patients using the service have also expressed that they appreciate being able to call in to check on the status of their referral. “That’s part of what makes the job satisfying,” says Cheryl. “It’s nice to be the voice on the other end of the phone when they need updates or have any questions about the process.”

And word on the OCI seems to be spreading: Cheryl notes that they get new primary care providers signing up every week!


OCI is currently working with the eCE System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program to move from a fax-based system to the Ocean electronic referral system, which is expected to be launched in the very near future.


If you are interested in learning more about OCI, please contact the RCC at:




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cSWO May 2017 Update




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ClinicalConnect™ Now Integrated with eHealth Ontario’s Acute Clinical Data Repository


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eCE April 2017 Newsletter


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The eCE Foodraiser 2017 for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region


This April, the eHealth Centre of Excellence came together in support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region to collect food donations for those in need in our community.


More than 31,000 men, women and children last year received food assistance in Waterloo Region. Over  40% of households in need of assistance from the Food Bank were families with children.


Through community partnerships we obtain and distribute emergency food from our neighbors for our neighbors.” – The Food Bank of Waterloo Region


The eCE is committed to making positive change in our region and naturally seized this opportunity to run a Foodraiser.


We divided into 5 teams: Lettuce Feed You, Can’t be Beet, The Flaming Tomatoes, The QBICumbers and The IncrEDIBLES. Each day, team members were encouraged to bring in different theme items such as “Protein” or “Breakfast Food,” and would score points per item.



When it comes to good, friendly competition – we can get very intense and it was GAME ON!


Our little food donation corner began to grow rapidly, soon consuming a large amount of floor space stacked high with canned goods and other nonperishable items. Teams could also earn extra points for cleaning up litter outside and a total of 143 pieces of garbage was collected surrounding our building and along the street in merely 2 days!




This was a lively week, where everyone banded together equally in support of each other and our community.


The scores were close, but eventually “The IncrEDIBLES” came out on top with a whopping 410 points – the equivalent of over 200 donated food items. Second place was team “Can’t be Beet” with 277 points.


In total, all 5 teams raised 559 lbs of food, supplying 437 meals.


We are so happy to have been able to help the Food Bank of Waterloo Region in such a big way and look forward to the possibility of doing it again next year!


If you are interested in organizing a food drive, please click here to go to the Food Bank's website. 


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cSWO April 2017 Update



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2017 Partnerships in eHealth Event

The eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) is delighted to announce that we are hosting our 3rd annual Partnerships in eHealth symposium, on May 17.


You can RSVP directly on our EventBrite page. We hope you will consider this an opportunity to share your ideas and help shape the future of healthcare in Ontario — your feedback matters, and we are listening.


For example, last year’s event theme was Patient Engagement and the afternoon portion of the day had attendees participating in discussions concerning the challenges of engaging patients and their caregivers to better manage their own health care through the use of digital technologies.


These discussions revealed several themes that would need to be addressed:

  • Engagement & Knowledge — Technology should be used in ways that include patients: building knowledge will empower them to get involved, and easier access to information will enable them to make better-informed decisions
  • Receptivity — Don’t develop digital tools for the sake of it, but assess and then demonstrate what is needed and why
  • User Experience — Both patients and clinicians need to be involved in the design of technology solutions, to ensure that these solutions make sense for the people who will actually be using them 
  • Fragmentation — Neither patients nor their clinicians will want to use several applications and logins to access different pieces of information about their health contained on different information systems


Taking into account the themes raised during these breakout sessions, we purposefully built guiding principles into the eCE’s System Coordinated Access (SCA) program, which is supporting the deployment of an electronic referral (eReferral) system for the Waterloo Wellington region. Thanks in large part to the feedback gathered during last year’s event, the SCA program has since:


  • Established the SCA Program Patient & Caregiver Advisory Committee, and added patient/caregiver representatives as members to the SCA Program Steering Committee and SCA Proof of Concept Implementation Steering Committee
  • Built a system design and deployment model that is founded around patient and clinician feedback (test, feedback, enhance, repeat)
  • Recruited clinicians to give continuous feedback on the eReferral design process – both referrers (primary care) and receivers (specialists/programs)
  • Developed 4 benefits realization cases to demonstrate the improved organizational and clinical value that come with the introduction of new referral processes
  • Selected a vendor and eReferral solution with an open architecture that can integrate with electronic medical records (EMRs) and other necessary assets to support a seamless user experience


The theme for this year’s event is Transformational Change, and we’re really looking forward to seeing what ideas you will bring to the table — collaboration is among our core values, and we will continue to work with patients and healthcare providers across the continuum of care to improve the use of information technologies in the delivery of healthcare. 


A photo from our first event

A photo from our first event.


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You're Invited to a Clinical Research Symposium

Be sure to check out this great event! Registration closes on May 17, so RSVP today:



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Hannele Kivinen
May 31, 2017
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