By Jeanette Despatie, President & CEO. Originally published in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder on Saturday, October 19, 2022.
14-20, 2022 is Digital Health Week, an annual celebration of digital health and
technologies used to enhance access to care and improve the ability for
patients to manage their health.
2016, Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) introduced a leading-edge Electronic
Health Record (EHR) to centrally store, organize, and access patient records; a
20-month transformational undertaking in collaboration with our EHR provider
and the entire hospital, from senior leadership to front line, from
housekeeping and porters to physicians, to create custom digital workflow solutions
and electronically integrate our teams.
the EHR has improved our quality of care, patient outcomes, and safety through
improved management, reduction in medication errors, new decision support tools,
and improved communication and interactions between healthcare workers and
our hospital teams, the EHR has reduced the time they spend pulling patient
charts, improved their access to comprehensive patient data, helped to mitigate
patient risks, manage prescriptions, and improved the scheduling of patient
essence, the EHR removed the silo approach to providing care and created
cross-departmental teams on a consolidated digital platform, empowering our
staff and physicians to collaborate for improved patient outcomes.
an EHR of this scale allowed CCH to achieve Level 6 of 7 on the HIMSS Analytics
Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), joining just a handful of
community hospitals in Ontario recognized by HIMSS Analytics for reaching one
of the highest levels of health information technology use.
strong foundation of digital infrastructure proved especially critical throughout
the pandemic; we were better positioned to respond to the needs of our
community and build capacity. Almost overnight, the hospital opened a community
COVID-19 testing centre and vaccination clinic, added additional bed capacity,
and shifted to an appointment model for visitation, with all appointments,
staffing and patient flow being managed directly within the EHR.
patients now also have remote access to their hospital charts using MyChart™,
an app that pulls your medical record data directly from the EHR for remote
viewing and sharing; and CCH was the first hospital in Canada to integrate the
SeamlessMD app with its EHR for remote pre- and post-surgical monitoring. These
digital apps are putting more CCH patients directly at the centre of their care
to one patient who registered for MyChart™ following their visit to the
Emergency Department: “I signed
up, and when I first logged in, lo and behold, not only were my mammogram and
x-ray results there, but also all the detail of what was done when I visited
the Emergency Department was all documented – at least two pages worth of
according to a patient testimonial from Maureen: “MyChart™ provides me with
access to my clinical records at home or wherever I am. Having the ability to
view my records prevents calls and visits to my primary care provider’s office
and allows me to share access of my test results with my family.”
one patient who used SeamlessMD to track their post-operative recovery progress
at home: “I did not feel alone in my recovery and felt that some sort of
monitoring of my recovery was happening behind the scenes.”
as we look to the future of exceptional care with our new 2022-2027 Strategic
Plan, Leading Innovative Transformation, digital health technology is
playing a critical role in delivering on our strategic directions of Recovery,
People, and Integration.
enhance access to care as we recover from the pandemic, CCH is now accepting
electronic referrals from primary care providers for various clinics, including
diagnostic imaging, addiction and mental health services, stroke prevention,
diabetes, and endoscopy – a first for a hospital in Eastern Ontario.
better support our people, CCH will be implementing a new electronic staff
scheduling solution, giving our staff more flexibility in how they sign-in and
sign-out, submit shift changes and overtime.
the hospital’s EHR will be integrated with various long-term care (LTC)
facilities to improve coordination, communication and strengthen integration
between CCH and LTC homes in our community.
are just a few examples of how digital technology is shaping the future of Exceptional
Care at Cornwall Hospital, and ultimately, in our community.
Digital Health Week, I am thankful and proud of the work our teams have
accomplished over the years in advancing digital health at CCH to improve
patient-centred care. Not only has this positioned our hospital to adapt to
environmental factors and the growing needs of our community, but an innovative
healthcare environment is strengthening our ability to attract and retain
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Cornwall Community Hospital is located on the traditional lands of the Akwesasne Mohawks and their ancestors. We are forever grateful to those who had been on these lands before us and through their stewardship and connection to the land, have made it what it is now. Read our full Land Acknowledgement here.
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