Two healthcare projects win
TORONTO – Two innovative healthcare projects were among the winners at
the Canadian Information Productivity Awards, held earlier this month.
CIPA, Canada’s oldest and largest awards program in the field of
information technology, presented a total of 24 awards for excellence
before a black-tie audience of about 800 senior executives from across
Canada during the 14th annual CIPA Gala Banquet.
exceptional application of information technology to transform its
processes and bring benefits to stakeholders, the Toronto-based SIMS
Partnership was awarded a 2006 CIPA Silver Award of Excellence in the
Exceptional Innovation, Not For Profit category. The major technology
partner for the project is Misys Healthcare Systems.
With an annual operating budget in excess of $1.3 billion, SIMS (Shared
Information Management Services) is a partnership of seven healthcare
organizations in Toronto that was created to achieve innovation in
information management and information technology to support improved
Its Emergency Room Notification project is a joint initiative between
two SIMS partners – the University Health Network (UHN) and the Toronto
Community Care Access Centre (TCCAC).
By integrating a number of systems, Emergency Departments at the Toronto
General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital have been able to more
quickly review the medical histories of patients who have been
re-admitted to the ER. When their conditions can be more appropriately
handled by the CCAC, they’re also able to quickly alert administrators
at the CCAC through the use of BlackBerry devices. They were also able
to improve the transfer of patients by replacing a time-consuming paper
process with an electronic solution, thereby reducing crowding in the
Pictured above are: (l to r)
Heather Garnett, Project Manager, Shared Information Management
Services; Deborah Rosser, Vice President and Publisher, Rogers Consumer
Publisher (presenting the award); and Camille Orridge, Executive
Director, Toronto Community Access Centre.
Continuum Medical Care
Winning a gold award in the Customer Care Category, For Profit, was
Continuum Medical Care, a primary-care clinic based in Vancouver. Its
technology partners are Wolf Medical Systems Inc., Basic Business
Systems, Toshiba of Canada and Microsoft Canada Co.
With more than 35,000 patients and 30 family physicians and specialists,
Continuum is one of the largest medical practices in British Columbia.
Continuum’s model – bringing a variety of medical practitioners and
services together into a single facility to address a variety of
healthcare needs – is rooted in the increasing dissatisfaction that
doctors were having in trying to deliver full-service family medicine in
a system that did not reward this type of care financially.
The goal of the Continuum model is to make it viable, financially and
from a lifestyle perspective, to attract and retain family physicians
who can deliver excellence in full-service medical care.
To maximize the performance of its internal operations, Continuum
implemented an electronic medical record (EMR) system that enables
physicians and staff to track, monitor and manage clinical information.
The system enables physicians to access patient records, enter notes or
order lab tests or prescriptions at bedside or in exam rooms, using a
wireless tablet PC, for example, or perform many non-billable tasks from
home such as charting and writing referral letters by accessing the EMR
system via the Internet.
With physicians who have different charting styles being brought
together into one location, the EMR system presents information such as
allergies, medical problems, medications and recent visits in a
consistent, standard way. The EMR system is also integrated with a drug
The system automates an array of clinical and administrative functions.
For example, referral letters, with all the accompanying background
information, are automatically generated using the patient visit notes
from within the system and directly sent electronically to staff for
Lab test results are automatically added to the patient’s record within
the system, where they can be easily accessed by physicians and compared
with previous results. Physician schedules are also managed within the
system for easy update and so that physicians can review them from
anywhere, including home.
With all patient information, exam notes, test results, diagnostic
images and drug therapy history maintained within the system for each
patient, it’s a simple matter for physicians to prepare a complete
patient history to share with other medical practitioners who may be
involved in the patient’s care.
The EMR has been essential to Continuum’s success to date, giving them
the ability to more effectively manage their practice, better utilize
space, and relieve physicians of cumbersome administrative duties so
that they are free to practice medicine and deliver enhanced care to
“Canadian competitiveness and productivity continue to be critical
factors that will affect our nation’s long-term economic health,” said
Michael Roach, President and Chief Executive Officer of CGI, the
Managing Sponsor of CIPA. “To prosper and compete in the global economy,
Canadian organizations must continue to seek ways to be more innovative.
“In an impressive variety of ways, CIPA winners have demonstrated that
innovative thinking leads to IT-enabled business solutions. These
solutions improve the competitive health of their respective
organizations and in turn, set an important example for others in
Canada’s private and public sectors to follow.”