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SIMS adds four healthcare organizations

TORONTO – COTA Health, North York General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Toronto East General Hospital have teamed up to join Shared Information Management Services (SIMS), an information management and technology (IM/IT) group that now includes 13 Toronto-area healthcare organizations.

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.

“As an organization that truly believes patients need a continuity of care and service, from both inside and outside our walls, we are happy to participate in a partnership that will help facilitate this process,” says Bonnie Adamson (pictured), President and CEO, North York General Hospital. “We look forward to working together with SIMS to share information across the healthcare system, and in the end do what’s best for patients.”

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

“We look forward to collaborating with our SIMS partners to maximize technology as a lever for further enhancing the continuity, integration, safety and quality of care we collectively provide to our patients,” says Rob Devitt, Toronto East General Hospital’s President and CEO. “This partnership supports our hospital’s commitment to wisely and innovatively steward healthcare resources to achieve the highest standard of patient care.”

The addition of the four new organizations represents an intriguing impact on the direction of SIMS. North York General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Toronto East General Hospital adds substantially to the group’s impact and reach within the acute care sector, while COTA Health is the group’s first foray deep into the provision of care in the community.

“To date, our work through the CCACs has been up to the point of commissioning the work and reporting back to the organization,” says Matthew Anderson, CIO of the SIMS Partnership. “COTA Health helps bring technology into the home and right to the client. This is an extremely unique opportunity as, combined with North York General, St. Joseph’s, Toronto East General and our current partners, we have truly expanded to touch virtually every sector in healthcare.”

With similar values and a relationship founded on trust, all 13 organizations commit to identifying, planning and implementing IM/IT initiatives that will contribute to a coordinated
healthcare delivery system.

Shared initiatives may extend beyond IM/IT implementations to include process and quality improvement, shared care delivery programs and safety initiatives. The common element is the enhancement of information utilization between the partnering organizations to support the continuity of care within the context of client/patient transitions.

“St. Joseph’s is committed to innovation and clinical excellence. Joining SIMS enhances our work to improve access and flow, patient safety and integrated, coordinated healthcare service delivery,” explains Carolyn Baker, President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Health Centre. “This partnership provides us with an opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare organizations to improve referral processes and chronic disease management systems while also furthering stewardship of our resources.”

COTA Health will participate in SIMS in a similar fashion to the majority of the partners, with SIMS becoming their internal IT department. North York General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Toronto East General Hospital have mature internal IT departments that SIMS will work with to implement shared projects.

“We are very excited to join the partnership,” says Patricia (Trish) Barbato, President and Chief Executive Officer, COTA Health. “This partnership will assist us in pursuing key strategic objectives related to information management and technology that will support the provision of high quality service to our clients.”

Together through SIMS, these 13 organizations are transforming the way healthcare is delivered.

COTA Health is an accredited, not-for-profit health and social services organization serving in seven of fourteen LHINs. We provide community-based rehabilitation, mental health and support services to over 36,000 clients annually. Established in 1973, COTA Health delivers services through its dedicated team of nearly 600 service providers and 200 volunteers.

North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada’s leading community teaching hospitals. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across four sites. The hospital embraces health by providing innovative and compassionate care for the whole person throughout all stages of life.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Toronto is a full-service acute care community teaching hospital in the Catholic tradition, providing services in Southwest Toronto. With a vision to be Canada’s Best Community Teaching Hospital, St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is acknowledged for its commitment to community engagement and linkage that enables the delivery of outstanding quality and service to its diverse communities.

Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) is a large, urban, full-service community teaching hospital that has proudly served the diverse, multi-cultural population of South East Toronto for 78 years. TEGH provides a full range of primary and secondary acute care services, as well as complex continuing care, and is a respected teaching partner of the University of Toronto and other educational institutions. TEGH is committed to achieving the highest standards of patient care, teaching, innovation, community partnership and accountability: Above all, we care.