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New service helps Ontario hospitals with technology

Jeremy ThealTORONTO – The Hospital Information Systems Benefits and Adoption Team (HISBAT) is a new resource supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to assist Ontario hospitals with the implementation of advanced Health Information Systems (HIS).

The service is fully funded by the MOHLTC, with no cost to hospitals. The team is comprised of experts from North York General Hospital and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

Advanced HIS include capabilities such as Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), closed loop medication administration (CLMA) and Clinical Decision Support (CDS). In the United States, over 80 percent of hospitals have already implemented these technologies, due to abundant international research demonstrating the potential for substantially improved healthcare outcomes.

In Canada, adoption of these systems has been slow due to the substantial costs involved, as well as fears of failed implementation and suboptimal outcomes. These fears are well founded, since it is estimated that up to 30 percent of advanced HIS implementations fail to meet expectations, due to factors such as insufficient clinician engagement, inadequate change management, and a lack of necessary systems expertise amongst hospital staff on HIS project teams.

The HISBAT is a new and innovative approach to addressing these challenges. Depending on where the client hospital is on its HIS journey, the team draws on its years of hands-on experience and lessons learned to help hospitals get the most out of their HIS investments.

The focus of the HISBAT is to improve client hospital team knowledge, primarily in areas not covered within the scope of HIS vendor and consultant services. Through this centrally funded sharing approach, advanced HIS can be implemented in a manner which mitigates project risk, reduces costs, and improves HIS adoption and outcomes for Ontario hospitals, clinicians, and the patients they serve.

“Our team has a solid understanding of the drivers and constraints that hospital teams face, as well as the pressures on front-line providers, who are tasked with using the technology,” says Dr. Jeremy Theal (pictured), HISBAT lead and chief medical information officer at NYGH.

Hospitals that engage with HISBAT will benefit from increased clinical adoption, improved clinical outcomes, efficiencies that contribute to avoidance of waste and operating costs, and connection to provincial resources that enable inter-hospital information sharing for ongoing system optimization.

By involving HISBAT at the earliest stage, especially during planning and procurement, organizations can avoid potentially costly mistakes, prepare for change management and realize the full potential of advanced HIS for patient care.

“New digital technologies will give Ontarians more access to better healthcare,” says Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “The work of these expert teams will support hospitals as they integrate advanced information systems into their operations to improve efficiency and improve health outcomes for patients.”

To learn more about HISBAT, please contact Jeremy.theal@nygh.on.ca.

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