Innovative Solution at The Scarborough Hospital Facilitates Triage of ER Patients



    TORONTO, March 12 /CNW/ - The Scarborough Hospital (TSH) and Canada
Health Infoway (Infoway) today announced a new initiative to improve emergency
room service. Through kiosks in the emergency waiting room at both hospital
campuses, patients will be able to enter information in seven different
languages, helping to facilitate more effective triage.
    Called "Enhancing Emergency Services: A Patient-Centred Approach" (EES),
the initiative aims to better support nurses and physicians with smart tools
so they can work more efficiently and effectively to enhance patient flow and
improve patient care.
    "Our staff is the backbone of our emergency department, serving over
300 patients daily," says Dr. Hugh Scott, President and CEO, TSH. "What's
great about this system is not only that it benefits our staff and physicians
but also our ER patients by allowing them more direct involvement with their
care, enabling more accurate triage and providing better access to appropriate
care."
    These patient-centred information systems will assist patients in
communicating their status to ER staff and physicians as they wait in
emergency waiting rooms. An alert will pop-up on the nurses' screen each time
a patient updates information. "Patients now have the option to play even more
of an active role in their care process during unavoidable waiting time," adds
Dr. Scott. "Also, the new e-triage tool will assist staff with the patient
reassessment process and reprioritization of care as needed."
    The user-friendly kiosks are available in English, but will also feature
interfaces in seven different languages including English, French, Chinese
(Cantonese and Mandarin), Tamil, Punjabi, Farsi, Hindi and Urdu. Patients are
asked a number of questions in their native language and can choose answers
from a comprehensive list. The system then translates the information into
English for use by the care providers. It is estimated that approximately half
of the patients at The Scarborough Hospital speak English as a second
language.
    "It's good to see hospitals, like The Scarborough Hospital, willing to
consider innovative approaches to improve the access to care for their
patients," says George Smitherman, Minister Health and Long-Term Care. "It
will be interesting to see how this system develops and how effectively it
assists patients seeking care in the emergency department."
    "Since The Scarborough Hospital serves a diverse community and a high
volume of patients, they are a good test ground for this new approach to
improve patient triage" says Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health
Infoway. "The system could eventually serve as a model for other emergency
departments in the country," he added. Infoway is investing $1.5 million
dollars in this pilot project, approximately half of the project's total cost.
    The new technology will capture more detailed data from patients, process
that information and provide it to the nurses and physicians. The Centre for
Global e-Health Innovation, University of Toronto Healthcare Resource
Modelling Laboratory, the University of Alberta eTRIAGE Solution and
Medisolve, are also partners in this project.
    The system is designed to enhance aspects of our ER service for patients
without increasing staff or enlarging facilities. "We focus on patient-centred
care. We expect to achieve even greater staff and patient satisfaction with
this new solution," says Dr. Scott.

    About The Scarborough Hospital

    The Scarborough Hospital (TSH), Canada's largest urban community
hospital, delivers innovative, high quality patient care, advocates for our
community's health and wellness issues, and is a leader in research, teaching
and learning. TSH is a regional treatment centre for dialysis and is renowned
for its sexual assault care centre and mental health programs. Affiliated with
the University of Toronto, TSH is also a referral centre for vascular surgery,
pacemakers and corneal implants. For more information on The Scarborough
Hospital, please visit: www.tsh.to.

    About Canada Health Infoway (Infoway)

    Infoway is an independent not-for-profit organization that invests with
public sector partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health
information systems which support a safer, more efficient healthcare system.
Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these private and secure systems
provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to complete and accurate
patient information, enabling better decisions about diagnosis and treatment.
The result is a sustainable, healthcare system offering improved quality,
accessibility and productivity.





For further information:

For further information: Sherian Mondesir, The Scarborough Hospital,
(Tel) (416) 431-8200 ext. 6594, smondesir@tsh.to; Cindy Hoffman, Canada Health
Infoway, (514) 397-7335 or 1-866-868-0550, (514) 606-7335 (cellular),
choffman@infoway-inforoute.ca


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