box10.gif (1299 bytes)







Lab technology

Three eastern Ontario labs connect with hospitals

OTTAWA – Cerner is working with The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and two other members of the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association (EORLA), the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH), to implement an automated system that will connect the three laboratories to local hospitals.

The initial phase of the project will see all three hospitals implement the Cerner PathNet Laboratory Information System (LIS). The Cerner PathNet solution offers clinicians an integrated technology to automate the operations of the laboratory and will connect laboratory information with the patient’s electronic health record.

“We have partnered with Cerner for more than 25 years to provide high quality, patient-focused healthcare services to the residents of Ottawa and the surrounding region,” said Dale Potter, senior vice president and CIO of TOH. “Our continued cooperation will advance our use of healthcare information technology while creating a more connected healthcare community, which will improve the coordination of care and integrate our health system to support and facilitate secure information sharing.”

TOH will use the Cerner Millennium technology to advance the digitization of individual EHRs and to meet the needs of care providers, laboratory professionals and healthcare consumers. All three hospital labs will utilize the PathNet solution, part of the Cerner Millennium portfolio of healthcare solutions, to create an LIS which will increase efficiency and improve access to laboratory information.

“The collaboration with Cerner and our members will not only automate laboratory processes for the labs involved, but will also facilitate EORLA creating a truly integrated regional laboratory service model which will deliver patient-focused, high-quality and cost-effective laboratory services to meet the needs of the region,” said Dr Fred B Swaine, CEO of EORLA.

Cerner solutions will be used to automate clinical, financial and managerial processes in the laboratory, including those in hematology, coagulation, chemistry, urinalysis, immunology and phlebotomy. In addition to the PathNet General Laboratory, Microbiology and Transfusion Medicine solutions, Cerner’s molecular diagnostics solution – PathNet Helix – will also be implemented to incorporate automation of genetic lab testing.

The Cerner Bridge Medical solution for transfusion management will be deployed as part of the project to streamline caregiver workflow and increase productivity. TOH will use the Cerner CareAware architecture to facilitate connectivity between laboratory medical devices and EHRs.

The automation of laboratory processes will benefit clinicians and EORLA members in several ways, including:

• Timely access to accurate lab results that provide a complete picture of the patient’s test results and other vital information for more effective decision making;

• Reduced error through easier verification of key patient demographics, test results and operational quality controls;

• Simplified specimen management with tools to create collection labels and lists containing the information required based on collection parameters;
• Time saving automatic rescheduling of missed collections and the ability to immediately print labels.

“Connecting the laboratory community is an essential step to transforming the way healthcare is delivered in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario,” said Jim Shave, president Cerner Canada Ltd. “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with TOH extending back to 1985, and are pleased to see them use our laboratory solutions to provide better integrated care for their patients. These additional solutions will undoubtedly support TOH in their goal to reach the top 10 percent of academic and research hospitals in North America.

One of Canada’s largest teaching and research hospitals, The Ottawa Hospital is a bilingual multi-campus, health sciences centre, serving the 1.2 million residents of Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. With 1,240 beds and an annual budget over $1 billion, The Ottawa Hospital provides care for more patients than any other hospital in Canada.

Working together with the Ottawa Health Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, and other partners, TOH is gaining national and international recognition for high quality patient care, teaching and research. TOH has a number of specialty centres including cancer, heart, kidney, vision care, women’s health and rehabilitation services.

For its part, the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association, EORLA, is the coordinating body for the 16 hospital based laboratories in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, serving 1.5 million people in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. EORLA performs approximately 13 million tests annually in support of its member organizations and regional programs.

Posted September 23, 2010