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Regional D/T solution in Waterloo-Wellington

The Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Grand River Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital, Groves Memorial Community Hospital and North Wellington Health Care (hospitals in Ontario’s Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network), in partnership with Lanier Healthcare Canada, have been developing jointly the first regional, shared dictation and transcription system.

The new system ensures healthcare providers have real-time access to dictated patient reports at any hospital when they need to, no matter where they are – a first for the hospitals.

“The benefits of this system are numerous to staff and physicians, but most importantly, for patients,” said Alasdair Smith, Vice President Finance and Administrative Services at Cambridge Memorial Hospital and spokesperson for the joint project.

“The new regional dictation system will make transcription and storage of patient information more consistent and will improve the efficiency and timeliness of handling the clinical reports amongst the providers in the circle of care for a patient,” added Smith. “From a care perspective, the new system will add to patient safety initiatives by allowing all members of the healthcare team real-time access to key clinical information.”

The new system will initially allow for access to information by healthcare providers within the individual hospitals. The goal is to move toward having patient information accessible and immediately available among all of the hospitals, using one system throughout a patient’s journey. Patients can remain certain that the confidentiality of their personal health information will be protected within the new regional system.

Utilizing programs that have received top ratings from KLAS (an independent organization that assesses top healthcare technologies), the regional dictation and transcription system will allow hospital partners to combine and share workflow processes, policies and procedures, and disaster recovery plans, ultimately improving consistency of patient care in the Region of Waterloo and Wellington County.

The hospitals began Phase 1 of the implementation (voice dictation via telephone on one unified system) in August, 2007. Phase 2, which involves the regional use of the system with common report templates and a centralized distribution of clinical reports to the hospital information systems, will be going live starting at the end of February, 2008.