Calgary hospitals add OR management to anesthesia
Calgary Health Region, one of
Canada's largest integrated health systems, has selected Picis CareSuite
to automate more than 65 operating rooms (ORs) in four acute care
hospitals and a number of satellite sites that serve an estimated 1.5
million residents, with referrals from Southern Alberta and Southeastern
This agreement extends a strong working relationship between Picis and
the Region that was established in 2001 when the organization installed
Picis' anesthesia information system. The CareSuite OR Manager module
will integrate with CareSuite's anesthesia module to provide a
continuous clinical record and total perioperative automation of the
According to Picis, CareSuite's flexibility, ease-of-use and
comprehensive features will also move the Region one step closer to its
goal of providing an Electronic Health Record.
Mark Anderson, Calgary Health Region's Operating Room Information System
(ORIS) manager and client project manager for the Picis project,
identifies increased efficiency and stability of the whole environment
as CareSuite benefits. "Through Picis' ability to integrate with
existing computer systems and with the anesthesia module, the Region
will realize greater efficiencies over a wide range of areas, including
reduced case costing and duplicate data entry with the ultimate goal of
improved patient care."
Despite its previous success with Picis solutions, Calgary Health Region
conducted an independent search for the best OR management vendor.
According to Tim Anderson, IT project manager for the Electronic Health
Project at the Region, "One of the things we recognized as a strength of
Picis was that the business process would drive the system rather than
the system driving the business process."
This flexibility will enable them to design CareSuite's functionality
around the Region's business process without a lot of vendor
customizations. Calgary's unprecedented growth, increased demand for
beds and services and the potential to expand – up to 2 additional
facilities and 85 operating rooms in the near future – made product
flexibility particularly important in areas such as surgical scheduling
"One vital scheduling function for the region is managing the patient
wait list (those waiting for surgery)," Skyla Lundgren, an operating
room manager for the Region, explains. "With approximately 2,000 acute
care beds in the Region, we need to track patients within sites, assess
patient's risk for surgery and match resources to patients who are
waiting – in accordance with Alberta guidelines," she adds.
CareSuite OR Manager's multi-facility features, conflict checking and
access to the electronic Master Patient Index will help reduce delays,
eliminate redundant data entry during the scheduling process and promote
a positive experience for the patient. In addition, intra-operative
charting, which has been standardized manually throughout Calgary
hospitals since 2000, will soon be available online throughout the
Region using CareSuite OR Manager.
The Region plans to replace the existing OR system and install CareSuite
OR Manager at Alberta Children's Hospital, Foothills Medical Centre,
Peter Lougheed Centre and Rockyview General Hospital. CareSuite
technology, which is live at all of these sites for anesthesia
documentation, will be expanded to surgical scheduling, intraoperative
charting, supply and preference card management and reporting.
Additionally, the Region will install CareSuite SmarTrack for surgical
patient tracking and Extelligence for advanced data analysis.
More information from Picis is available at