MGH leverages Connexall for SMART Hospital expansion
November 4, 2021
TORONTO – Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) is a busy community facility serving over 400,000 people in 22 neighbourhoods across East Toronto. The hospital is currently expanding its site with an eight-floor tower and an additional three-floor extension that will add 500,000 square feet of clinical space to the medical centre.
With the opening of their new building (known as the Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre), expected to open sometime in late 2022, the hospital will expand its use of Connexall’s enterprise platform. It’s the largest construction project in the hospital’s history, with an estimated cost of $560 million.
At the same time, MGH is engaged in master planning via ‘Project Imagine’, an effort to re-design healthcare and create an intelligent, “connected” hospital.
One of the hospital’s key challenges was to determine how to connect clinicians, staff, patients and equipment in real-time, making it possible to communicate instantly and locate people and resources as soon as possible. To achieve this strategically, MGH chose to leverage its existing partnership with Connexall, an industry leader in clinical communication and collaboration.
Simplified approach and system architecture: Hospitals utilize a multitude of systems and associated devices.
Connexall integrates its solutions in healthcare facilities without having to make any additional investment to update their current infrastructure or replace their existing vendor relationships. The company’s sophisticated enterprise-grade platform and suite of solutions are vendor and device agnostic, supporting all types of systems and devices that hospitals use now and plan to use in the future.
One such solution within Connexall’s portfolio is the MobileConnex application, an extension of its enterprise grade platform. The app will be a standard tool aiding clinical and corporate staff via integrating information from different systems into single mobile device interface from which they can communicate and coordinate responses.
“It’s great that you’re not tied down to a desk to see what’s happening,” said Nicole Gagne, telecommunications coordinator at MGH. “Our staff can be at the bedside and on the floors and still see all of the information.”
Moreover, the combination of Connexall’s enterprise platform and MobileConnex is helping caregivers handle multiple alerts and hand them off in order of importance to the most appropriate caregiver. If that caregiver is unavailable, it will escalate to the next logical person. MobileConnex will also ensure that the message is received and acted upon.
On MGH’s plans for the future, Sandy Saggar, SVP Innovation, Analytics and CIO at Connexall shared, “We are excited about MGH enabling their clinicians with our Enterprise Connected Hospital Solution, with a mobile-first strategy utilizing MobileConnex to prioritize all the alerts and messages they receive on any given shift. We need to help clinicians manage their workload, especially with burnout on the rise, with tools to enable their day-to-day workflows in turn improving the patient experience.”
MGH has been using technologies from Connexall since 2009, but the latest project will substantially expand the scope and capabilities.
“Since we began our partnership between MGH and Connexall in 2009, we have greatly benefited from the use of the Connexall products to enable streamlined communications amongst our clinical teams for patient care delivery,” commented Amelia Hoyt, CIO at Michael Garron Hospital. “We continue to work together to build additional communication pathways with the use of Connexall products, like MobileConnex, in support of our new Ken and Marilyn Thomson Patient Care Centre opening in 2022.”
Previously, MGH used Connexall on its inpatient floors with nurse call integration to their mobile devices, allowing response teams to manage critical events such as code blue and code pinks. With the opening of their new tower, the hospital will expand its use of the company’s enterprise platform. This will include providing support to outpatient clinics including day surgery, complex continuing care and the maternal newborn areas.
Doing more with Connexall: Connexall’s vast portfolio of solutions are integrated into critical systems such as Nurse Call, Patient Monitoring, RTLS, EMR and many more.
For instance, Connexall will receive alarms from MGH’s Nurse Call system and deliver these alerts to the appropriate staff members via the MobileConnex app. MGH staff will have the ability to respond to events, including accepting and escalating, and initiate a patient room call to clarify the situation promptly.
Similar to the Nurse Call solution, the Patient Monitoring solution will prioritize and escalate alerts through Connexall whenever the system receives a critical alarm. In the new tower, Connexall will process the desired alarm types, based on staff and clinician feedback and deliver them to the appropriate team members via MobileConnex. These alarms will be prioritized and communicated based on the workflow designed for each alarm type.
An example of the RTLS integration is Connexall’s patient wandering solution, which “will be particularly helpful for patients with dementia, with sensors and tags enabling alerts – all showing up on MobileConnex for the closest and most appropriate staff to be able to respond to,” said Gagne.
The deployment of MobileConnex will allow for meaningful utilization of information transmitted by various systems and enable faster response to changes in patient and system performance. The opportunities to scale automation and enhance data usage are promising for future workflow enhancements.
Greater insights and analytics: For hospital management, an important aspect of their quality improvement strategy will be its ability to automatically collect and produce actionable analytics.
“We’re very excited about this for quality improvement and reporting,” said Linia Shaji, manager of Health Records and Telecommunications. “Currently, we collect statistics manually which is labour intensive and can be inconsistent.
Connexall will automate all of this. It will be ideal for quickly assessing which units require the most staff attention for alerts, alarms and rounds and how long staff members are taking to respond to incidents.”
With real-time statistics, the hospital will be able to implement quality improvement programs in an efficient and effective manner. By automating the collection of metrics, the hospital will be able to create custom analytics, with comparisons of different units – such as medical, complex care and palliative care – enabling it to match its resources with high-demand areas better.
Digital resiliency: “The hospital is undergoing substantial transformation of it digital maturity through this and other technology upgrades which will better position us for the future of care delivery,” said Hoyt.
Gagne also noted that there is a significant change management and training program slated to begin, as many new systems will be deployed in the new tower next year. Hundreds of clinicians will be moving over from the existing building to the new tower. Connexall will be involved in helping these efforts to ensure there is seamless user adoption. It’s all part of the shift towards modernized healthcare delivery, which depends on fast and accurate information.