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eReferral Proof of Concept Nearing Completion!

The System Coordinated Access (SCA) program is fast approaching the end of our electronic referral (eReferral) Proof of Concept. For the past year, we’ve been working in collaboration with a consortium of vendors – Think ResearchCognisantMD, and the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) – to develop an online eReferral solution that meets the specific needs of patients and healthcare providers in our community.  

 

This strategy is unique in that it is built around the concept of first understanding the needs and frustrations that exist today in the referral space and building a solution to meet those needs versus a traditional out-of-box solution.

 

The first phase of this deployment has focused on referrals to Orthopedic Specialists, Diabetes programs, and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management (CDPM) services. A key success to this model to date has been the dedicated group of clinicians, administration, system partners (such as the Waterloo Wellington Regional Coordination Centre) and patients and caregivers that have contributed their time and energy to the design process. As a result, over 250 enhancements have been made to the eReferral solution so far with more to come!

 

We have found there to be significant value in including clinicians and patients in the development, design and testing of the solution and using their feedback to improve both the process and product – with their help, we’re creating a solution that will work for the people actually using it!

 

What’s next?

 

If the Proof of Concept is successful, the SCA program will be looking to expand the eReferral solution to additional pathways in Waterloo Wellington, including in the next phase Diagnostic Imaging, Mental Health and Addictions, and Specialized Geriatrics Services, and will continue to onboard additional primary care physicians in the community as eReferral services grow. While this work in Waterloo Wellington marches on, the program will also be looking to expand the eReferral solution to other interested LHINs with an initial focus on orthopedic referrals.

 

Questions?

 

Please direct all questions to SCA Program Manager Lori Moran, at Lori.Moran@ehealthCE.ca.

 

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Get Involved in Virtual Visits!

The eCE is currently recruiting clinicians and administrative staff to be involved in an innovative procurement process to help us decide on a virtual visits solution for Waterloo Wellington.

 

Virtual visits in primary care is becoming mainstream in other jurisdictions, where up to 50% of appointments are delivered virtually. Locally, we are experiencing an increase in the number of services and providers offering virtual health care to residents of Waterloo Wellington.

 

Virtual visits will allow clinicians to ‘see’ their patients via secure messaging,  clinical video-conferencing, email and phone. These bill-able encounters will contribute to a reduction in outside use and avoidable in-person visits, as well as enhanced practice efficiencies.

 

For more information about this exciting opportunity, please contact QBIC Change Management Specialist Meghan Brenner-Burgoyne at: 
meghan.brenner-burgoyne@ehealthce.ca

 

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June 2017 -Important Updates to ClinicalConnect™

 

 

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cSWO June 2017 Update

 

 

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eCE Participates in eHealth 2017

At this year’s National eHealth 2017 Conference & Tradeshow, which took place in Toronto from June 4-6th, the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) was invited to participate and give presentations in a number of panels to share with attendees from across Canada some of the ehealth initiatives we’ve been leading.

 

eHealth 2017 Tradeshow

 

First up, eCE Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia and QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) Program Manager Danika Walden gave a talk called “Be Inspired by Easily Achieved Enhanced Use of the EMR!”  During the presentation, they spoke about how QBIC works with primary care providers in Waterloo Wellington to show them how to use their electronic medical record (EMR) in the most optimal way possible, enabling them to enhance the way they deliver care to their patients.

 

SCA presentation

Next, in a panel called “Future Priorities in Digital Health”, System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program Manager Lori Moran spoke alongside Sharon Baker, Director of Innovation Procurement at the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC) about the unique methods – called “innovation procurement” – used to find a vendor capable of designing and deploying an electronic referral solution for the Waterloo Wellington region, and potentially beyond. The eReferral Proof of Concept is now in full swing (read an update here), thanks in large part to the innovation procurement process. Creative approaches yield creative results!

 

Learn more about innovation procurement in this issue of Canadian Healthcare Technology.

 

The SCA program also had a poster presentation on the process, designed by SCA Program Coordinator Paula Lee.

 

Finally, Dr. Alarakhia co-presented with Dr. Kirk Hollohan, the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Clinical Lead and Dr. Ian Digby, Guelph General Hospital Emergency Department Physician, on cSWO’s “Primary Care Data Sharing Proof of Concept: Enhancing the EHR.” You can read about this presentation and more in cSWO’s latest newsletter.

 

All in all, the eCE team had a great time presenting on some of our current digital health projects and learning about other ehealth initiatives not only in Canada, but internationally as well. Already looking forward to next year!

 

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Spotlight on eConsults: GeriMedRisk

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 GeriMedRisk.

 


 

Medications are an important part of managing health and well-being for many older adults. Often a number of medications are needed to support those with multiple chronic conditions.

 

However, as the number of medications increase, so does the risk and currently, thousands of older adults experience an adverse drug event (ADE) or a negative reaction as a result of medications. Previous research has shown that decreating the number of medications can lower the risk and improve older adults’ quality of life, but it requires careful consideration.

 

An innovative new program called GeriMedRisk aims to tackle this issue, and a pilot project is kicking off at the Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging. GeriMedRisk was developed by Dr. Joanne Ho (Schlegel Clinical Scientist at McMaster University) to provide care teams with specialized geriatric support when addressing multiple medications in older adults. 

 

Clinicians can access GeriMedRisk’s specialized team of nurses, pharmacists, and physicians by telephone or through telemedicine, so it offers reliable support and advice much more quickly than referring to a specialist.

 

By supporting clinicians in optimizing medications for older adults, there is potential to reduce adverse events and their consequences, for example, drug-related cognitive impairment, falls, and hospital visits. The hope is that by piloting GeriMedRisk, we can show it is not only timely and cost-effective but enhances quality of life for older adults who are reliant on multiple medications.

 

For more information or to request an eConsult via the Ontario Telemedicine Hub (OTNHub), please visit www.gerimedrisk.ca

 

GeriMedRisk is generously supported by a strong partnership of organizations including the Research Institute for Aging, Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington, McMaster University, St. Joseph's Health Centre Guelph, Ontario Telemedicine Network, Grand River Hospital and the Ontario Poison Centre.

 

 

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WWCRQI 2017: A Day to Share Ideas

Team members from the eHealth Centre of Excellence were recently invited to give several presentations at the Waterloo Wellington McMaster Clinical Research and Quality Improvement (WWCRQI) Symposium.

 

 

It was a busy day, with Benefits Realization Specialist Julia Bickford (pictured above) kicking things off with a presentation on the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Digital Health Drug Repository (DHDR), which is currently being rolled out across the region. The DHDR is an enhancement to the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™, that enables authorized users to view dispensed drug data covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, as well as monitored drugs (narcotics) and community pharmacy services (in addition to information on hospital pharmacy services, which was already available through ClinicalConnect). To view some of the BR cases that research the benefits of the DHDR thus far, click here!

 

Benefits Realization Specialist Lira Hyseni was next to speak, presenting with QBIC’s Stephanie Chin (pictured below, left) on the Depression Screening tablets for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) that are currently being tested by primary care providers in Waterloo Wellington. 

 

Lira (pictured above, right) was also responsible for a poster presentation on the benefits of EMR decision support tools.

 

Finally, System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program Manager Lori Moran teamed up with eCE Benefits Realization Practice Lead Lori-Anne Huebner and Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Tom Hupel to give the afternoon’s keynote address on “Diagnostic Imaging For orthopedic patients: The problem and how eReferral can help.” (Lori and Lori-Anne are pictured left.)

 

Their talk focused on the unnecessary use of MRIs in orthopedic care, which is adding up to delays in treatment for patients as well as high costs to the system. The new eReferral solution currently being developed in Waterloo Wellington has built in appropriateness guidelines that healthcare providers can consult when making a referral. These guidelines  will help the provider to determine whether or not their patient has the criteria that would necessitate an MRI – in most cases, a simple and quick x-ray will do the trick.

 

Overall, it was a great opportunity to get the word out on eCE initiatives and get feedback from people in our community – thank you to the WWCRQI for including us, and we hope to be back next year!

 

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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:
519-947-1000

 

 

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