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Electronic ordering

CPOE goes live at St. Boniface General in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – St. Boniface General Hospital (SBGH) entered the history books as the first healthcare facility in Winnipeg to go fully live with Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), with the system going into full use in February 2009.

The introduction of CPOE at SBGH is the result of four years of effort by the hospital’s healthcare providers and the Hospital Information System Project (HISP) team. SBGH now has the benefit of an Electronic Patient Record, a secure, private electronic record of a patient’s health history including their registration information, demographics, allergies, and test results. The HISP team is comprised of healthcare personnel from SBGH and other facilities in Winnipeg and is managed by Manitoba eHealth, a provincial program.

With the EPR/CPOE, clinical orders are entered and sent directly to the appropriate department for processing. The orders are listed in the EPR with indications of what has been completed and what is pending. Electronic alerts appear for specified order duplications and provide information to assist clinical decision making.

The system performs checks in the background when providers write an order. For example, the provider may be alerted to patient allergy to a drug or whether the dosage ceiling for the drug is being exceeded. Only providers with appropriate security rights are able to modify or discontinue an order. All changes are tracked, to determine who made changes and when. The system is also auditable, which ensures that privacy and confidentiality issues are easily identified.

As other hospitals implement the EPR, authorized healthcare providers can have timely access to patient information at these other facilities, helping to reduce instances of duplicated efforts and provide even greater security to the healthcare system. Any future EPR implementations at WRHA hospital sites are in the planning stages.

In the early morning hours of November 18, 2008, the first electronic orders were entered on Cardiology/CCU and out-patient cardiology areas. The remainder of SBGH went live with the system in stages to ensure that resources were available and dedicated to the area.

“This has to be the smoothest EPR implementation ever in a hospital,” says Dr. Michel Tétreault, CEO of SBGH. “I believe this is due to the tremendous amount of work done by the St. Boniface and Manitoba eHealth project teams, and the positive attitude of staff and physicians in learning new processes to improve care for patients.”

The HISP team worked intensely with SBGH personnel and doctors to prepare for the implementation, which included workflow analysis, equipment sourcing, demonstrations and training. During each activation, a command centre was staffed 24/7 to support the healthcare providers on the floor. These preparations helped to ensure smooth activations.

Dr. Bruce Roe, Chief Medical Officer of SBGH, adds, “The EPR is going extremely well in the inpatient areas. Users have quickly adapted workflow to the EPR and in some instances, it’s reported that patient-care rounds go faster. Physicians and staff appreciate having clinical information at hand, and it aids in decision making.”

For more information on the EPR, please visit: