Innovative NYGH scoops up e-health award of excellence

ORLANDO, FLA. – In February, leaders of North York General Hospital formally accepted a Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence from HIMSS – the first-ever for a Canadian acute-care hospital. Only 50 other hospitals around the world have won a Davies Award, which is given to organizations that have substantially improved patient outcomes using computerized healthcare systems.

NYGH was recognized for its multi-faceted eCare program – which among other achievements, has prevented an estimated 11,000 medication errors.

But the Toronto-based hospital isn’t about to rest on its laurels.

Indeed, it’s on a multi-year drive for to further improve healthcare outcomes and enhance patient satisfaction. That includes an investment in new systems.

“We’re looking at the next generation of applications, and continued refreshing of our infrastructure,” said NYGH’s chief information officer, Sumon Acharjee.

Part of the plan is to upgrade from the hospital’s current Cerner CareMobile system to a modern, multi-use system that can work with smarter and more integrated devices. The goal is to improve access to information for clinicians through the use of mobile solutions.

Acharjee was in Orlando, Florida with his colleagues to receive the Davies Award at the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference.

Not only does the team at NYGH plans to increase its HIMSS EMRAM standing, in 2018, from Stage Six to Seven – the top tier. It also intends to reach a high standing in the HIMSS Continuity of Care Maturity Model (CCMM).

The Continuity of Care Maturity Model goes beyond Stage 7 of the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). This newer model, which also has eight levels, addresses issues like interoperability, information exchange, care coordination, patient engagement and analytics.

It’s designed to improve communications and interoperability both inside the hospital and with care partners and patients outside the walls of the facility.

To reach CCMM Stage 4, for example, you’ve got to have care coordination that’s based on a ‘semantic interoperable patient record’.

The requirements include:

• Shared care plans that track, update, task coordination with alerts and reminders.

• E-prescribing. Pandemic tracking and analytics are in place.

• All care team members have access to all appropriate data.

• Semantic data drives actionable clinical decision support and analytics.

Stage 5 requires a community-wide patient record that includes patient engagement. Components include:

• Community-wide patient record with integrated care plans and bio-surveillance.

• Patient data entry, personal targets, alerts are available.

• Patient data aggregated into a single cohesive record. Mobile tech engages patients.

• Community wide identity management.

• Best clinical practices are derived from care community healthcare data and operationalized across the community (continuous quality improvement and adaptation).

NYGH is already a national leader in areas like order sets – it makes use of evidence and collaboration tools from Zynx to enable clinical adoption, but has customized them in accord with Canadian and regional practices. It is also a leader in Computerized Provider Order Entry – 97 percent of physicians at the hospital currently use CPOE.

The hospital’s eCare system also makes use of closed-loop barcoding for medication reconciliation – something that greatly reduces the chance of patients receiving incorrect meds or doses.

The system offers point-of-care decision support, and can transfer data from patient monitors directly into the electronic medical record.

Thanks to solutions such as these, the odds of dying at NYGH from common conditions such as pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have dropped by as much as 53 percent. According to the hospital, this represents an estimated 120 lives saved from these two health conditions alone.

Written by Editor

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