TORONTO – Lydia Lee (pictured), senior vice-president and chief information officer at the University Health Network in Toronto, was awarded the prize for Public Sector CIO of the year at the Ingenious Awards Gala last month. Nominated by Dr. Bob Bell, Ontario’s Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and David Thomas, vice-president of Telus Health, Lydia was selected by a panel of industry leaders for changing the course of healthcare technology for UHN and across the province.
“Anytime someone tells me something is impossible, it makes me want to do it more,” said Lee. The Ingenious Award Program is a yearlong initiative that celebrates businesses which demonstrate measurable evidence of productivity improvement, efficiency gains, revenue growth, overall business transformation or other organizational outcomes through the use of technology. The awards are presented by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).
As UHN’s CIO, Lydia led the development of several technological solutions to improve patient safety.
In 2001, at a time when fewer than 2% of North American hospitals embraced electronic patient records, Lydia’s vision set a new standard. By implementing the Medical Order Entry/Medical Administration Record, or MOE/MAR solution, a computerized medication order entry and administration system, UHN saw a 42% decrease in major ordering and transcription errors.
Taking the “patients as partners in care” seriously, Lydia was an early champion of the myUHN Patient Portal. Designed to give patients online access to their health records, the application reduces their anxiety and facilitates a better relationship with care providers. Through myUHN, patients receive UHN appointment reminders and can see lab results and clinical documentation.
“I nominated Lydia not only for the work she has done for the hospital (UHN) but also for the work she has done for the community of Ontario patients,” said Dr. Bell, former president and CEO of UHN.
A champion for providing clinicians with timely and pertinent patient information, Lydia has expanded UHN’s reputation as a provincial leader in developing regional healthcare information systems.
Lydia’s dedication to sharing essential information between organizations is changing healthcare in Ontario. For example, the Resource Matching and Referral application, used by 80 participating organizations in Toronto, has sent about 300,000 alternative level of care referrals since 2008. There’s also ConnectingGTA, a longitudinal electronic health record housing 115 million types of patient information.
“Healthcare is a knowledge driven industry,” Lydia says, “and the work that my team and I do ensures that clinicians get the information they need to care for our patients.”