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Toronto-based health IT network expands

TORONTO – The Shared Information Management Services (SIMS) has now become a nine-member partnership with the recent addition of Women’s College Hospital and Providence Healthcare. SIMS is the name of the information management and technology (IM/IT) group that is shared between nine healthcare organizations, spanning family physician practices, hospitals, rehabilitation institutes and home care agencies.

The group works on integrating projects across the entire partnership, including confidentially sharing patient information online to help improve referrals, enhance patient safety through the elimination of transcription errors and reduce the amount of time patients have to wait to receive services.

For its part, Women’s College Hospital is an academic teaching hospital in downtown Toronto, while 17 kilometres away, Providence Healthcare provides rehabilitation and complex continuing care, long-term care and community programming. Through the power of technology, the two organizations are connecting as the newest members to join the Shared Information Management Services (SIMS) Partnership.

“Providence Healthcare is excited by the possibilities and the potential available to us through our partnership in SIMS,” said Mary Beth Montcalm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Providence Healthcare. “The strength and resources available through the SIMS Partnership will allow us to pursue leading-edge information management technology for the benefit of all patients throughout the system, in a way that would not otherwise be possible for us. This is a win-win situation for healthcare organizations and for the people who come to us for care.”

Other members of the partnership include Bridgepoint Health, North York Community Care Access Centre, St. John’s Rehab Hospital, Toronto Community Care Access Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network and West Park Healthcare Centre. Each organization is involved with integrating projects across the entire collaboration.

“For Women’s College Hospital, joining SIMS is an important step forward in realizing our future as an academic ambulatory hospital,” said Marian Walsh, Interim President and CEO. “Seamless linkages between various parts of the continuum of care are needed to improve the healthcare experience for both patients and providers. With SIMS, the healthcare system has the opportunity to become truly integrated for the first time.”

At few other places does health information technology move so rapidly, interconnect so strongly or touch so many lives. SIMS is facing the challenges of healthcare head on by continually finding ways to improve the patient experience through the use of advanced technology.

“At the end of the day, SIMS is not about information technology,” said Matthew Anderson (pictured above), Chief Information Officer, SIMS Partnership. “It’s about change.”

Together through SIMS, these nine organizations are transforming the way healthcare is delivered.