OHA partners with HIMSS Analytics to
TORONTO – The Ontario Hospital
Association has partnered with HIMSS Analytics to expand the collection
and dissemination of data on e-Health adoption in Ontario’s hospitals.
Through this partnership, the OHA will soon begin collecting an inventory
of e-Health applications and technologies that hospitals are using to
support their clinical work.
By partnering with HIMSS Analytics, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the OHA
is now able to offer Ontario hospitals the ability to benchmark their
results against the thousands of American and Canadian hospitals already
in the Analytics database.
For the OHA, the objective is to support hospital and health system
realization of e-Health’s promise by increasing the transparency around
specific applications and technologies that individual hospitals are
By doing so, the OHA believes hospitals, other providers and health
systems will be in a better position to learn from the experiences and
choices of others, identify opportunities for collaboration and have
access to contextual information that will help with integration
In addition, the OHA sees this new partnership as an opportunity to
reduce the high volume of surveys hospitals receive, oftentimes for very
similar information. Whether for provincial projects like the Wait Time
Information System or regional projects such as the implementation of a
DI/PACS network, hospitals are frequently asked for information about
what they are running at their sites.
By creating a single inventory, the OHA will serve as a central hub,
collecting the information once to meet a wide range of stakeholder
needs. Endorsed by the e-Health Program at the Ministry of Health and
Long Term Care (MOHLTC), and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
e-Health Leads Council, the creation of this inventory and the HIMSS
partnership are seen as positive steps that will provide value to many
local and provincial e-Health projects.
The partnership with HIMSS Analytics allows the information in the
inventory to be leveraged for additional benefits by aligning the data
set with the Analytics data base. HIMSS Analytics has been collecting
similar information from U.S. hospitals for years and recently began
collecting this information in Canada.
Through the partnership, Ontario hospitals that populate inventory will
have access to over 50 reports that benchmark their e-Health adoption
and corresponding resource commitment levels to similar hospitals in
Hospitals should know that the partnership will have little visible
impact on the OHA’s traditional e-Health Adoption Survey, which has
already been sent to hospitals. A unique link to the OHA’s annual
e-Health Adoption Survey: Clinical Capabilities was sent to hospitals
across Ontario on Thursday, July 3rd,2008. For the past three years,
results from this survey have provided an understanding of what clinical
functions and information sharing hospitals are performing with
e-Health; these results have also helped inform OHA discussions with key
decision makers about e-Health priorities for the provincial health care
system. In addition, survey results have allowed hospitals to benchmark
their e-Health adoption against their Ontario peers.
This year, the OHA has simplified the Clinical Capabilities Survey.
Hospitals that participated last year have had their2007 responses
populated into this year’s survey tool, requiring hospitals to simply
confirm or update their answers.
This should drastically shorten the amount of time required to complete
the survey. In other changes, the Order Entry section now includes
distinct reporting for Order Entry and Computerized Physician Order
Entry (CPOE) and the data gathered from the OHA’s Labour Market Survey
e-Health Supplement will replace the section of the survey that touched
on similar subject matter.
To make it easier for hospitals participating in the Clinical
Capabilities Survey to use their results, the OHA created the Adoption
Survey Interactive Results Tool, which provides hospitals with the
opportunity to benchmark their level of e-Health adoption, identify
their strengths and vulnerabilities in specific foundational e-Health
areas, and learn who among their peers has made progress in certain
And, as previously mentioned, the OHA is introducing a new survey,
titled the e-Health Adoption Survey: Technologies and Applications. This
survey, to be distributed to hospitals later this summer, will allow the
OHA to begin to populate the technical inventory among hospitals. In
particular, the Technologies and Applications Survey will collect
information about e-Health hardware, software, networking, services,
standards, and operation indicators associated with clinical
applications across the province.
Given the success of the Adoption Survey over the past three years –
last year’s participation rate for the Clinical Capabilities Survey was
over 94% – and the increasingly prominent role of e-Health in Ontario,
the OHA hopes that hospitals will fully participate again this year. The
surveys are extremely useful in building on e-Health as the foundation
of a modern, integrated, accessible, and sustainable health care system.