CHEO leads with paperless outpatient clinics

Alex MunterOTTAWA – The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has become the first hospital in Canada to receive a Stage 6 electronic health records designation for its outpatient clinics from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This makes CHEO one of very few – less than 1% of 650 Canadian hospitals – to have come this far in implementing electronic patient records.

“Being first in Canada to receive this designation places CHEO as a leader at the forefront of healthcare providers, especially among those who are embracing paperless technology,” said Alex Munter (pictured), president and CEO of CHEO. “More importantly, this wonderful acknowledgement once again demonstrates how our progress in adopting electronic health records is helping CHEO continuously deliver exceptional care to our patients and families.”

One of CHEO’s goals in moving to electronic health records is to use real-time information to better manage every aspect of outpatient care – including clinical care, research and patient access to appointments and medical information. For patients with long-term and complex conditions, electronic records will ultimately replace huge volumes of paper files with a sophisticated and fully searchable database that can be shared by all of their healthcare providers.

CHEO is already realizing significant benefits from its adoption of electronic health records by reducing:

• Test duplication by about 2% to enhance the quality of patient care.

• Medication errors by about 3% to improve patient safety.

• Clerical chart prep time to ease staff workload.

• Costs in health record transcription services, off-site storage and paper chart supplies.

As part of CHEO’s implementation of Epic – a hospital-wide, fully-integrated electronic health record system – it uses the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) from HIMSS Analytics to track progress towards achieving a paperless patient record environment.

Healthcare facilities using the model are scored from Stage 0 through Stage 7 based on their level of electronic record adoption. While EMRAM has been broadly adopted by North American hospitals, the ‘ambulatory’ module is newer. CHEO is the first hospital in Canada to apply for EMRAM-Ambulatory certification for its outpatient clinics.

Epic is now live in 43 outpatient service areas across CHEO such as Pediatric Medicine, Diabetes, Urology and Neurosurgery. With 161,371 outpatient visits in 2014, the implementation of electronic health records is important for patient safety and continuity of care. Clinical studies have shown that electronic health records lead to better outcomes for patients, including more lives saved from life-threatening conditions.

About Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is the pediatric hospital of Canada’s capital and helps over 500,000 children and youth each year. CHEO has more than 2,500 doctors, nurses and staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for the children and youth of Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario. CHEO works closely with the University of Ottawa as a teaching hospital and fosters groundbreaking research through the CHEO Research Institute. CHEO’s vision is to change young lives in our community, while our innovation changes young lives around the world.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The company collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms. Visit for more information.

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