Electronic health records
Sunnybrook patients to access their
TORONTO – This month, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences
Centre will launch a pilot program for an electronic Continuity of Care
Record (CCR). The system enables patients to create and manage
their own personal health records.
The groundbreaking model is designed to streamline the delivery of information between healthcare providers and
patients, and to educate patients on the management of their own
(pictured), Vice President responsible for eHealth at Sunnybrook &
Women’s, said, “We believe that the Continuity of Care Record approach
will be extremely beneficial to the consumers of healthcare.”
Two of the challenges facing the Canadian healthcare system today
include the lack of integrated information exchange among care
providers and also with their patients.
Patients continue to be frustrated with our complex health system and
the gaps in the continuum of care.
“I continue to express the urgent need for patients to access their own
medical information, such as clinic visits, notes, test results and the
like,” says Veronica Maidman, a patient in the trial and supporter of
our healthcare system. “It is very disconcerting that I do not have
access to my health information when I travel or see other physicians.
Gaining access will eliminate the need to always ask for copies of tests
and reports. I am thrilled that Sunnybrook & Women’s recognizes the need
for change and focuses on the patient’s personal needs.”
Increasingly, patients like Veronica Maidman are taking a greater
interest in managing their own health and healthcare information,
researching and gathering disease specific information, and
participating in treatment decisions. This indicates a new type of
consumer and a need to meet new expectations.
Sunnybrook & Women’s CCR involves patients from Sunnybrook & Women’s and
community physicians’ offices. These patients and providers will have
access to personal health information through a password-protected
system, which connects to a patient-specific Sunnybrook & Women’s
It offers a series of self-managed services such as appointment
scheduling, medication refills, patient diary, test results, email
communication, and with the patient’s expressed consent, the ability to
share health information with other providers and caregivers from
anywhere at anytime. Sunnybrook & Women’s will offer online help and
arrange training sessions to assist patients with creating their own or
a family member’s health record.
“The patient will always have the greatest interest in their own
healthcare and that of their family,” says Sarina Lecce, Director,
eHealth Strategies & Operations, Information and Communication Services.
“In order for the consumer to be more effectively involved in managing
their healthcare, it’s time to put the necessary information in their
The idea of electronic personal health records not only empowers
consumers, it also improves clinical workflow by reducing the number of
phone calls and forms that are exchanged in the process of referrals and
consultations with frequent users, and collecting new patient
“As family physicians, we are often called upon to interpret what a
patient remembers of their encounter with a specialist,” says Dr.
Jennifer Wyman, a family physician affiliated with Sunnybrook & Women’s.
“Being linked directly to the information will allow us to gain a more
thorough understanding of the patient’s history, and as a result we will
function much more efficiently.”
The portal will also enable patients to access updated information
regarding educational initiatives such as program workshops and seminars
and have the ability to register for these online.
Marafioti adds, “We are beginning to accept that the patient is a key
stakeholder in the way we deliver care, and once consumers are
empowered, they will change the way healthcare is delivered.”
About Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre is transforming
healthcare through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff members
who provide compassionate and innovative patient focused care. An
internationally recognized leader in women’s health, academic research
and education and an affiliation with the University of Toronto
distinguishes Sunnybrook & Women’s as one of Canada’s premier health
Sunnybrook & Women’s specializes in caring for newborns, adults and the
elderly, treating and preventing cancer, heart problems, neurological
and psychiatric conditions, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions and
traumatic injuries. Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre is the
comprehensive cancer program at Sunnybrook & Women’s, a Cancer Care
Ontario partner and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.