Major Milestone for Patients in our Region
All North West Local Health Integration Network Hospitals Now Contributing Data to the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer
News Release - PDF Available for download here
March 21, 2019 – A major milestone towards providing province-wide access to digital health services and improving quality health care for Ontarians has been achieved as clinicians across the Northwest region now have a detailed digital view of patient’s health information and their journey through the health care system via eHealth Ontario’s ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer, a secure, web-based portal that provides real-time access to digital health records.
Sioux Lookout’s Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre in the North West Local Health Integration Network is the most recent hospital to contribute to eHealth Ontario’s Acute and Community Care Clinical Data Repository (acCDR) that gives health care providers access to patient information from hospitals and community care organizations across Ontario. This means that all hospitals across Northwestern Ontario are now live and contributing data.
As a result, authorized health care providers now have access to relevant and reliable patient data from multiple hospitals and community organizations across the continuum of care. This includes information on patients’ hospital visits, emergency room reports, consultation reports and discharge summaries—enabling them to make faster, more informed care decisions.
For patients, this means a reduction in the number of times they have to recount their health story as they get transferred between health care providers and organizations, reducing duplication of tests and/or health investigations, and the time it takes for health information to be shared across care teams. In addition, clinicians can reference patient information including publicly funded dispensed medications and narcotics, lab results and diagnostic images and reports, via the ConnectingOntario viewer.
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“I was on a trip to Toronto and when I got there I wasn’t feeling well. I ended up having to go to the hospital. Even though I was out of town, my doctor was able to access all of my health information using ConnectingOntario including my recent lab results and a chest x-ray I d done at the hospital in Thunder Bay two weeks ago. It saved me from having to explain what happened last time and I didn’t have to do the same tests again - I was able to get the answers I needed.”
“We know that enhanced access to health information leads to better care for patients across Ontario. ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer improves patient care at the right place at the right time across the region and province. We thank our delivery partners, digital health teams and eHealth Ontario teams for their continued commitment towards delivering patient-centered care.”
Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, Chief Executive Officer, North West LHIN
“I’m using ConnectingOntario on a regular basis. It provides me with valuable information that helps me to provide more effective care to my patients on the Telehomecare program. I am caring for many patients at a time and ConnectingOntario helps me efficiently refer to their medical information with ease. It is improving quality of care and that is incredibly valuable.
Genevieve Maxwell, Telehomecare Nurse, Home and Community Care, North West LHIN
“Our team at the Northwest Health Alliance has worked diligently to engage and connect health care organizations with the eHealth ConnectingOntario program in our region. The advantage of having our entire region’s hospitals now actively contributing to the ConnectingOntario Clinical Data Repository is a benefit to every patient in our region and will support the care they receive anywhere in the Ontario health care system. It is work such as this that allows us to make sure we are providing the right health care for patients when they need it most and providing practitioners with the information they need to deliver effective care.
David Murray, Executive Director, Northwest Health Alliance
The North West Health Alliance (NWHA), headquartered in Thunder Bay, provides shared services to hospitals and agencies that support the health care system in Northwestern Ontario. Since its inception, the Alliance’s mission has been to facilitate collaboration among health service providers in order to improve the delivery of health care. For more information on the Northwest Health Alliance, please visit their website at https://www.nwha.ca/
eHealth Ontario has created a secure electronic health record information system so that Ontarians’ medical information can be safely shared and accessed by their health care providers. Though there is more work to be done, more than six billion patient records from across the province are now available to over 166,000 eligible health care providers. This includes publicly funded dispensed medications, lab results, diagnostic images and reports, and clinical data from hospitals and community care organizations such as consultation reports and discharge summaries. Having rapid access to complete, up-to-date and accurate information puts health care providers in the best position to make more informed decisions and deliver better quality care.