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RVH, Michener create lab tech partnership

Denis GervaisBARRIE, Ont. – Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), a 319-bed regional hospital in Barrie, Ontario, and The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences, a Toronto-based education institution devoted exclusively to applied health sciences education, have announced a Meditech partnership.

Meditech is a Health Care Information System (HCIS) that has a 40 percent Canadian market share, including the largest presence in all of Ontario and adoption in all 14 of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

RVH has extended its Meditech HCIS training environment to establish a virtual private network (VPN) between RVH and Michener, enabling Michener’s full-time medical laboratory science students to be trained in Meditech’s Laboratory Information System (LIS) module.

“Because Meditech is one of the most common laboratory information system platforms in clinical environments, there is a great likelihood that our students will come across Meditech on the job,” says Denis Gervais (pictured), Interim Director of Information Management at Michener, explaining why Meditech was the right choice for them.

“By having exposure to the Meditech system during their training at Michener, students will be able to gracefully and seamlessly transition into their professional roles.”

Christine Maxim is the Meditech LIS Applications Specialist at RVH, a graduate and former clinical instructor of Michener’s medical laboratory science program, and was an integral part of the systems set up process for this partnership.

“An introduction to using Lab Information Systems in the learning environment is helping to prepare the lab students, and our prospective employees, for their clinical placements,” she says. “The result of this partnership is that graduates will join the workforce with relevant applications experience, which means that their clinical training can be focused more on how to provide the high quality patient care that is required for their roles.”

When Michener’s previous LIS had reached its “end of life” stage in November 2013, the educational institute began exploring options to find a new LIS platform for their Medical Laboratory Science students.

The evaluation process was centered on two key requirements: finding a clinical site that used Meditech’s LIS platform, and finding an organization that was familiar with Michener’s students. For those two reasons, RVH stood out.

Already, Michener sends students from its Medical Laboratory Sciences, Radiological Technology and Anesthesia Assistant programs to RVH for their clinical rotations.

Michener reached out to RVH’s Director of Informatics and Technology Services, Sisamone (Sis) Phanthasomchit. “We were thrilled when Michener approached us with this idea,” he says. “A lot of RVH’s Laboratory Technologists are graduates of Michener, so the value in having students graduate with current Meditech experience was immediately apparent to us. This partnership has turned out to be a win for all involved.”

On May 25, 2015 Michener’s Medical Laboratory Science students were introduced to the Meditech LIS module in their classroom. It facilitated simulation-based exercises that enabled Michener students to experience similar scenarios to those they would face in the lab.

“Michener’s medical laboratory science program prides itself on running high-fidelity simulation laboratories, says Jim Tsourgiannis, Manager of Laboratory Services at Michener. “We immerse students in highly realistic simulated clinical environments where they have the most relevant and practical clinical experience possible, including specimen collection, handling and processing. Michener’s goal is to provide students with the advantage they need to transition into their professional work environments.”

The RVH/Michener partnership, at minimum, will continue for the lifespan of the LIS, with the hope to expand the existing partnership to give students access to other relevant Meditech modules. Michener is currently in the process of conducting an opportunity assessment for other programs at Michener, including Respiratory Therapy, Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ultrasound and Radiological Technology.

In addition to implementing new modules, Michener is exploring the possibility of integrating some of their current clinical information systems with Meditech.

Ben Petersen, RVH’s Chief Financial Officer, fully supports this type of partnership. “I encourage my team to look for these types of win-win opportunities. It’s in our best interest as a healthcare organization to support healthcare educators in offering their students relevant skills which will set them up for success in their careers.”

About Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH)
RVH is a regional health centre in Barrie, Ontario, located 80 kilometres north of Toronto. As the largest hospital in the region of Simcoe Muskoka, RVH’s team of over 350 physicians, 2,500 employees and 900 volunteers provides exceptional care and specialty services to almost half a million residents, including cancer care, stroke services, orthopaedics, intensive care, mental health and interventional radiology. RVH is focused on delivering high-quality, safe care that puts patients and their families first. After an expansion in 2012, RVH doubled in size, growing to 319 beds, added $70 million in state-of-the-art technology, developed specialty services not found anywhere else in the region and welcomed 600 new, highly-skilled staff. The $450-million expansion means distance is no longer a factor in residents receiving lifesaving cancer treatment, thanks to the opening of RVH’s Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. For more information, visit www.rvh.on.ca.

About Michener
Established in 1958, The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences is Canada’s only post-secondary institution devoted exclusively to health sciences education. Michener offers full-time and continuing education in Imaging, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Medical Radiation Sciences, Primary and Critical Care and other specialized applied health programs. With a robust and responsive curriculum that emphasizes inter-professional collaboration and simulation based training, graduates are prepared to deliver quality diagnostic and therapeutic services. Michener is publicly funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and further enriched through partnerships with universities, private sector companies and leading health care organizations. For more information, visit michener.ca.

About Meditech
Meditech has been thea leader in the Health Care Information Systems (HCIS) industry since 1969. Meditech’s applications unify clinical, administrative, and financial information across a health care organization, including acute care, long-term care, home health care, and physician practices. Today, more than 2,300 institutions worldwide use Meditech’s information systems. For additional information on Meditech products and services, visit www.meditech.com.

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