QCH, Ottawa Hospital able to exchange records
July 12, 2023
OTTAWA – Queensway Carleton Hospital, which uses the MEDITECH information system, has implemented a point-to-point model that enables it to exchange patient records with The Ottawa Hospital, an Epic customer. Queensway Carleton Hospital, an innovative hospital, was one of the first Canadian healthcare organizations to implement Health Records on the iPhone and is a committed member of the MEDITECH Collaborative, a grassroots organization advancing interoperability across Ontario.
Before Queensway Carleton Hospital implemented this connection, patient information was available in view-only formats from multiple provincial sources. Now patient summaries are pushed to providers within the MEDITECH native solution, where they have the option to select problems, allergies, medications, and immunizations to integrate into patients’ charts.
When a patient has visited The Ottawa Hospital within the last 30 days, Queensway Carleton Hospital physicians receive an automatic alert in MEDITECH’s EHR, allowing them to view a summary of the patient’s most recent episode of care. Physicians are able to quickly distill the most pertinent information needed at the time, without having to scroll through pages of data.
The Ottawa Hospital is a tertiary care provider. Because it offers different programs and services from Queensway Carleton Hospital, its patients often overlap. For example, patients with complex medical conditions who have been treated at The Ottawa Hospital often turn to Queensway Carleton Hospital’s emergency department – one of the busiest in the province – for emergent care.
“The connection is immediate and fast, allowing us to get a sense of the patient’s situation up-front, which is extremely important, especially in the emergency department,” said Queensway Carleton Hospital CMIO Douglas Cochen, MD (pictured).
Before the point-to-point connection, the healthcare organization used a variety of methods to get patient information, making it cumbersome to gather the right data. Dr. Cochen points out that it was like “trolling on a fishing expedition.”
Dr. Cochen emphasized that accessing and consuming data points for specific areas enable providers to expedite evaluations and perform less duplicate testing, benefiting everyone.
“It’s especially important when looking at specialties like surgery and endoscopy, for example, where information is everything,” said Dr. Cochen.
“We are just at the beginning of what’s to come,” he continued. “What we’ve accomplished shows there’s an opportunity to do so much more in the interoperability space, and we’re excited about what is the very real future of patient information exchange.”
Queensway Carleton Hospital’s current focus on interoperability lays a strong foundation for its next phase: the widespread rollout of MEDITECH’s Traverse Exchange Canada, the first-of-its-kind cloud-based interoperability network. Traverse Exchange Canada enables the free flow of health information between multiple participating organizations.
As part of the MEDITECH Collaborative leadership, Queensway Carleton Hospital has been instrumental in helping to develop this solution and, along with the other CHAMP organizations, is among the first hospitals to go live.
“We see Traverse Exchange Canada as revolutionary in the sense that it’s a cloud-based platform where data is not stored in the actual network exchange but allows us to exchange with connected consumers and stakeholders across the entire healthcare continuum,” said Queensway Carleton Hospital vice president, Mental Health, Diagnostic Services, CIO, and CPO Tim Pemberton.
The healthcare organization remains dedicated to advancing patient information exchange without barriers. By staying at the forefront of the latest innovations in interoperability, such as Traverse Exchange Canada, it ensures that providers everywhere share the same source of truth to help keep patients on the right path.