Ontario Shores becomes world-leading user of EMRs
April 30, 2015
WHITBY, ONT. – Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) recently became the first hospital in Canada – and the first mental health hospital in the world – to achieve the prestigious HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7 award. The announcement was made last fall.
Offered by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Stage 7 award signifies attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM). It scores hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database on their progress in completing 8 stages (0-7), with the goal of reaching Stage 7 – the pinnacle of an environment which is truly paperless.
“Our electronic medical record system improves the delivery and quality of care that we provide and standardizes clinical documentation in an environment that is efficient, secure and collaborative,” said Karim Mamdani, president and CEO at Ontario Shores. Mamdani is part of the leadership team, comprising the board of directors and senior management, which guided and supported the implementation.
The progression to Stage 7 took seven years, and required significant investments in time and resources, with a governance structure firmly in place to monitor deliverables.
“We employed a change management framework which included full participation from the areas involved, significant communication including relevant education and training at all levels,” explained Sanaz Riahi, director, professional practice and clinical information.
The results were well worth the effort, with the Stage 7 designation indicating that documented patient information is being used to determine the best diagnosis and treatment at all times. “It is important that we are getting the value out of the data collected. We use the data to make decisions that are based on facts to enhance how we practice and in turn help our patients,” said Dr. Ilan Fischler, geriatric psychiatrist and medical director, clinical informatics.
One such example is the electronic admission assessment used at Ontario Shores. Used when a person is admitted to the hospital, there are certain mandatory fields which must be completed and which will then guide treatment. If the person being assessed has a history of smoking, for instance, the system will automatically populate with next steps, which may include the recommendation of appropriate nicotine replacement therapy.
Similarly, if a physician notes that a person will be receiving antipsychotic medication, the system will automatically populate with a recommendation to closely monitor for potential metabolic side effects.
One of the challenges in mental health is that antipsychotic medication may result in increased weight gain, obesity and an increased risk for diabetes. It is important when these medications are prescribed that they are accompanied by the appropriate monitoring.
An electronic record system means that once this medication is ordered by the physician, the system automatically generates suggestions for such additional monitoring. This greatly reduces any errors which may occur and enables clinical teams to proactively address any emerging issues and prevent metabolic complications.
“Since this system of monitoring has been instituted at Ontario Shores, adherence with the ideal recommended metabolic protocols has doubled,” said Dr. Fischler.
The electronic system also facilitates the sharing of clinical information in a manner that supports the use of patient data to improve performance and transform clinical practices to one that is evidenced-based, ensuring that patients and families are recipients of recovery-oriented care.
Shernette Muccuth Henry is a Communications Officer with Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.