Better Care for Ontario's Children with Electronic Lab Results

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - For the first time in the province, children will benefit from their pediatric care providers having access to the online lab results contained in the Ontario laboratories information system (OLIS). This means that care providers will now have a more complete and immediate picture of their patients' health.

OLIS is an online information system that connects hospitals, community laboratories, public health laboratories and practitioners to enable the secure electronic exchange of laboratory test orders and results. Accessing lab results online helps health care providers make faster and more informed patient care decisions.

The electronic Child Health Network (eCHN), created by SickKids in 1999, is a crucial innovation that revolutionized the sharing of patient health information among medical professionals. There are now more than 1,500 pediatric care providers actively using the network to provide better care to more than two million children in Ontario.

Electronic access to patient lab results means:

  • More informed and safer care, especially when patients are critically ill, in pain or unable to remember their previous test histories
  • More coordinated care between family practitioners and hospital providers; reduced patient travel; more time dedicated to patient care
  • Less time spent on administrative paper-chasing

Previously, health care providers had to wait for community lab reports to be faxed, mailed or had to make phone calls to patients or family physicians in order to track down critical information. Now, electronic patient information will be available for clinicians to make treatment decisions within minutes compared to the previous hours or days by removing the need to search for paper records of test results.

Today's announcement is eHealth Ontario's next step in putting valuable patient lab data into the hands of clinicians throughout Ontario. Approximately 35,000 clinicians now have online access to OLIS.

QUOTES

"Getting lab results to child clinicians faster compliments our Action Plan for Health Care by helping more patients get the right care, at the right time. It's quite the achievement when over two million children across Ontario will experience better and more coordinated care thanks to the work being done by SickKids and eHealth Ontario."
Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

"SickKids created eCHN with the knowledge that the timely exchange of medical information is critical to a child's health. The combination of eCHN with OLIS data not only improves an award-winning tool that enables excellent family-centered care, it  clearly illustrates that innovation, striving for service excellence, and focusing on sustainable infrastructure can enhance Ontario's child health system."
Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, Hospital for Sick Children

"We are proud to be a partner with SickKids, one of the most significant and prestigious hospitals in the world, on such an important initiative. Enabling the safe and secure sharing of children's electronic health information among care providers is at the heart of what eHealth Ontario is achieving."
— Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario

"Giving health professionals the information they need to make quick, informed patient care decisions is at the core of the investments Infoway has made across the country. Adding test results from both hospital and community labs will make the electronic Child Health Network an even more valuable resource for those who care for Ontario's children." 
Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway

"The electronic Child Health Network has one key objective - to improve the quality of care delivered to children throughout Ontario. Critical to its evolution is the high quality and ever-growing services by eCHN to Ontario's pediatric health care providers. This is a long-awaited and welcome enhancement."
— Andrew Szende, President, electronic Child Health Network

"Adding OLIS data to eCHN will further improve an already effective tool that allows quick and efficient access to patient laboratory results as well as monitoring treatments. It will offer a more complete patient profile which allows me to provide more meaningful consultations with the pediatric patients in my care."
Dr. Saul Greenberg, Paediatrician, Hospital for Sick Children

QUICK FACTS

  • Approximately 35,000 clinicians in the province currently have access to patient laboratory data contained in OLIS.
  • This initiative will allow another 1,500 pediatric care providers currently accessing eCHN in health facilities and more than 100 hospitals across Ontario to access OLIS data as well.
  • Currently, eCHN captures the health records of more than two million children in Ontario.

SOURCE: eHealth Ontario

For further information:

Members of the media please contact:
Zita Astravas, Office of the Honourable Deb Matthews, 416-327-9728
Nina Flowers, eHealth Ontario, 416-946-4778
Matet Nebres, The Hospital for Sick Children, 416-813-6380
Dan Strasbourg, Canada Health Infoway, 416-595-3424