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Hospital IT

Ottawa Hospital implements first all-Java EMR

OTTAWA —DINMAR announced that the Ottawa Hospital has completed the first stage of a broad-scale implementation of the company’s Java-based electronic health record platform – Oacis EHR.

A customer of DINMAR for almost a decade, The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) recently converted to the new Java-based version of Oacis.

Initially involving the upgrade of Oacis infrastructure components such as the clinical data repository and integration engine, TOH was quickly able to activate the Oacis Clinical Display application across its three provider sites.

Through a secure network, over 6,000 TOH clinicians instantly gain access to “smart” patient lists and intuitive summaries along with detailed results and configurable views. Care providers also benefit from a wide variety of automated clinical decision support assistants, which streamline workflow and improve care quality.

“Deploying the Java-based version of Oacis occurred rapidly because we could instantly release full functionality to clinicians via the Internet, rather than reconfiguring thousands of devices individually,” said Gino Picciano (pictured at left), TOH’s senior vice president and chief operating officer.

“In addition to being the core enabler for interoperability among our new and existing systems, Oacis EHR is the common, unified clinician user interface campus-wide,” continued Mr. Picciano. “Moreover, this upgrade lays the foundation for us to quickly implement advanced clinical applications such as Oacis CPOE (computerized physician order entry) and Oacis Interdisciplinary Clinical Documentation.”

In addition to the clinician-driven capabilities of Oacis EHR, its open architecture and technology platform offer the ability to interoperate with currently installed systems.

This eliminates the arduous and costly task of replacing all ancillary and administrative systems –- an approach typically required by the one-size-fits-all vendors. Hence, care delivery organizations benefit dramatically by leveraging existing investments in departmental systems while optimizing functionality, patient safety and efficiency benefits in the selection of new departmental solutions.

“Our clinicians have immediate access to patient data, including pharmacy orders and radiology images, from anywhere across all three hospitals,” said Dr. Alan Forster, a health services researcher at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. “This ensures that physicians use all relevant information while making often difficult and complicated clinical decisions.

“Also, a key feature is the ability to select specific blood tests and trend their results over time. This capacity enables quick insight to how different parameters are evolving,” continued Dr. Forester. “More importantly, the test selection and filtering functions in Oacis EHR are highly intuitive and this makes it very straight forward for physicians with varying levels of computing skills to retrieve the information they need.”
According to the company, DINMAR is the first commercial IT solutions supplier to fully incorporate Sun Microsystems’ Java programming language throughout an entire electronic health record system. Java has gained significant recognition for its ease of development, portability, and flexible user interface functionality compared with older-style programming languages commonly used in other EMR alternatives.

“With today’s increasing demand for interoperability among all systems, upgrading to the new Oacis EHR platform was a clear and logical choice for TOH,” said Ian Robinson, DINMAR’s executive vice president and COO. “We look forward to assisting TOH with implementing more advanced Oacis clinical applications in the near future.”

For its part, The Ottawa Hospital is a multi-campus academic health sciences centre. With over 1,000 beds, 10 000 staff and 1 200 physicians, and an annual operating budget of approximately $600 million, it is one of the largest healthcare organizations in Canada. In collaboration with the Ottawa Health Research Institute and the University of Ottawa, the Hospital is dedicated to excellence in patient care, to the education of future healthcare professionals, and to research resulting in bench-to-bedside discoveries.

The Ottawa Hospital partners with various organizations to provide comprehensive, high quality, patient-focused health care services, in English and French, to over 1.5 million residents of Eastern Ontario, and specialized and complex services for residents of northeastern Ontario. For more info on The Ottawa Hospital, see:

DINMAR is a leading North American healthcare information technology solutions provider. The company’s Oacis product was instrumental in launching the “open systems” revolution, which spawned many innovative technologies and clinical-interoperability standards in commercial use today. For more information, please visit