CritiCall Ontario Providing More Service to Physicians and Patients

    New Call Centre and advanced technology improving access to care for

    HAMILTON, ON, Sept. 18 /CNW/ -


    CritiCall Ontario - the province's medical resource for hospital-based
physicians who are caring for critically ill patients - has expanded its call
centre, implemented new state-of-the-art technology and moved to a new
facility designed specifically for this purpose. These enhancements translate
into more and better service to physicians who need specialist support or to
transfer a critically ill patient to another hospital.
    Formerly housed at the Henderson General Hospital site of Hamilton Health
Sciences, CritiCall Ontario's new office is located at 1725 Upper James Street
in Hamilton. The purpose-built facility has been designed to CritiCall's
specifications and is now the benchmark for call centre design. As a result,
the number of call stations can be expanded from five to up to fourteen,
translating into better, faster service for physicians.
    CritiCall Ontario is working with Telus to implement the first Canadian
implementation of Telus's iScheduler application for referral and waitlist,
which integrates with Telus's CallCentreAnywhere application. The solution
provides CritiCall Call Agents with patient referral capabilities, allowing
information to securely follow patients to wherever they receive medical
attention and also provides CritiCall with reporting capabilities for improved
health system planning. The new technology will support multi-disciplinary
care teams. If there is a specialist in one facility and another elsewhere,
the system will trigger the most appropriate consultation site and order
conferencing directly from the desktop computer. For example, a critically ill
patient may need an intensivist, a trauma surgeon and air ambulance all
involved in the same consultation. Once a patient plan is created, a patient
'e-ticket' will be sent to the participants to document the plan. The new
system allows for the collection of better, more timely data and archiving of
information as well as embedding "triggers" that help providers and CritiCall
Call Agents identify the health care facility most appropriate to meet the
patient's needs.


    "With the support of the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care we have
expanded our services. Together with new technology solutions and our brand
new central office we can help more physicians help more patients access the
resources they need," said Kris Bailey, CritiCall Ontario Executive Director.
"Our new technology, together with a new strategic focus on customer service,
will enable us to better meet the demand for service and support a dramatic
improvement in wait times for consults and transfers. That translates into
better access and better care for Ontarians."

    "CritiCall Ontario provides a unique and vital service to physicians by
helping to improve patients' access to critical care support and resources.
The evolution of CritiCall is a welcome and necessary step in ensuring a
system-wide response to Ontarians' critical care needs," said Dr. Bernard
Lawless, Ontario's Provincial Lead, Critical Care and Trauma,

    "The new call centre technology along with the enhanced services will
allow us to more efficiently use health care resources in the province. These
enhancements will ensure that every patient will have access to the resources
they need at a very critical time. From a health system perspective, having a
clear and accurate picture of critical care capacity across the system enables
us to better plan for and address issues of access in all parts of the
system," said Dr. Avery Nathens, CritiCall Ontario's Medical Director.

    Quick Facts

    -   CallCentreAnywhere is now live at CritiCall Ontario.

    -   iScheduler is being configured starting with paediatrics for
        referrals, then neurosurgery (province-wide), with the system
        continuing to build out discipline-by-discipline.

    -   The information collected by CritiCall Ontario, together with
        information collected through the province wide Critical Care
        Information System (CCIS) now in place in all intensive care units in
        Ontario, means that providers will have an accurate picture of
        critical care capacity everywhere in the province.

    -   This capability is particularly important when there is a moderate or
        major surge situation resulting in a sudden increase in demand for
        critical care resources.

    -   In 2007/08 CritiCall Ontario managed over 14,000 calls from
        physicians, representing a 50% increase in call volume from 2003/04.

    CritiCall Ontario is a 'medical 9-1-1' for hospital-based physicians in
Ontario. It is the only program of its kind in the province and is funded by
the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. CritiCall assists
physicians 24 hours-per-day, seven days a week by helping to find support in
managing their critically ill patient. The CritiCall service is available to
physicians who are caring for critically ill adults and children, as well as

For further information:

For further information: Wendi MacKay, (289) 396-7000 Ext. 7555, (905)
870-5535 (M),,

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