First in Ontario - Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS) To Lead
Information Technology and Information Management for All Five Hospital
Corporations in Erie St. Clair

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital Join CHIS

ERIE ST. CLAIR, ON, June 22 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS), a regional shared services organization that provides information technology and information management, leadership and service delivery to three hospitals in Erie St. Clair, has approved the membership of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital as Founding Members of CHIS, thereby expanding its membership to include all of the hospitals in the Erie St. Clair Region.

This expansion represents the first time in Ontario that all of the hospitals serving a region, as defined by the Local Health Integration Networks regional model, have joined together to plan for, support and provide integrated information technology and management solutions under one organization. 

"We are thrilled and excited to be part of the CHIS family.  The CHIS organization is an innovative, leading-edge model for both IT/IM planning and service delivery.  In becoming members we will be able to move ahead quickly with both our own organizational goals, as well as broader regional and provincial goals for improving system integration and advancing eHealth initiatives," says Warren Chant, President and CEO, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital .

"It simply makes sense to have all of the hospitals working together under CHIS to plan and implement IT/IM initiatives for the region.  We're all working towards the same goal of integrating care and service as much as possible to ensure patients have seamless access to care, no matter where they reside in the region.  Our membership in CHIS will translate into better use of resources, better information and enhanced patient care," adds John P. Stenger, CEO, Leamington District Memorial Hospital. 

The addition of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital to CHIS comes following an intensive analysis of the hospitals' IT/IM requirements, a cost/benefit analysis and the development of a transition plan that ensures that all of the current IT/IM employees are offered positions within CHIS and that their current employment terms and conditions are retained. 

Governed by a Board of Directors that includes equal representation from each of the five hospitals, the CHIS service delivery model ensures that all of the hospitals receive equitable levels of service and that IT/IM projects, including those that may only affect one hospital, are considered within the context of CHIS's regional goals. 

According to Sue Denomy, President and CEO of Bluewater Health and Chair of CHIS, "the addition of Hôtel-Dieu Grace and Leamington District Memorial Hospitals as CHIS members represents a remarkable example of the commitment of the five hospitals to work together to find and build the best service solutions for all patients across the region." 

Stephen Banyai, CHIS President and CEO and eHealth Lead for the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network, adds, "CHIS's strength lies in its collaborative working model.  It was founded on a strong willingness and commitment to work together to achieve excellence in health care information technology and information management in Erie St. Clair.  We are looking forward to working with all of the hospitals to deliver the highest quality leadership, support and service to the betterment of patient care."

Gary Switzer, CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN adds, "CHIS's role is vital to our ability to move eHealth initiatives forward in Erie St. Clair.  The expanded CHIS membership, which now includes all of the hospitals in our LHIN, will help to move this work forward, increase efficiency and ultimately, improve care and access to care for patients in Erie St. Clair, much sooner."

Backgrounder on CHIS

Who is CHIS?

Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS) was originally founded by Chatham Kent Health Alliance and Windsor Regional Hospital.  Bluewater Health joined in 2008 and now, with the addition of Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital, all five hospitals are Founding Members under the CHIS corporate By-Laws. 

Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS) is a regional shared services organization mandated to plan for, support and implement IT/IM and eHealth initiatives for its members and other Health Service Providers within the Erie St. Clair LHIN region. 

Consolidated Health Information Services (CHIS) was originally founded by Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Windsor Regional Hospital.  Bluewater Health joined in 2008 and now, with the addition of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital, all five hospitals are Founding Members under the CHIS corporate By-Laws. 

CHIS's work includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Supporting the effective instalment and maintenance of all member organizations' IT infrastructure Information technology supports the effective installment and maintenance of all member organizations IT infrastructure and solutions as well as a regional data centre.
  2. Delivering healthcare application implementation, integration and support services.
  3. Operating a Project Management Office (PMO) as a regional resource that helps guide projects to successful conclusion through the consistent use of effective best practice standards.
  4. Aligning goals with customer needs and striving to exceed expectations by providing member organizations with accountable, courteous, and responsive service.

CHIS's Goals

In delivering its mandate, CHIS's goals are to: improve the overall efficiency of IM/IT service at the hospitals, improve the clinical effectiveness of the hospitals through improved services, advance the development and implementation of a regional electronic health record, reduce operational costs through collaboration, integration and sharing, implement services in a manner that provides a seamless transition for hospitals and establish a model for service provision that is acceptable to the LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.


CHIS is owned and governed by an independent Board of Directors comprised of three representatives from each of the Founding Member hospitals: Bluewater Health, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Windsor Regional Hospital, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital.

Service Delivery

CHIS exists to serve its member hospitals and in keeping with its vision to promote and support integrated care, CHIS provides contracted services to Family Health Teams, Long-term Care Providers, the Canadian Mental Health Association and primary care physicians.

CHIS's mandate is delivered in partnership with the Erie St. Clair LHIN, eHealth Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

Qs and As

What benefits does CHIS provide to the hospitals and to the system?

CHIS supports a regional approach to IT/IM planning and implementation and as a result, this creates opportunities to: develop capacity and skills to support current and future needs, access external funding which supports a collaborative model like CHIS, draw from a larger pool of resources to support members' needs, realize cost savings through economises of scale, provide regional support systems, (e.g. Data Centre, Service Desk, etc.), align with regional and provincial priorities and provide a seamless, secure and efficient service to both provider end users and patients.

What are the cost implications for HDGH and LDMH associated with joining CHIS?

Initially, the costs associated with joining CHIS should not be any greater than the current IT expenditure levels at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital and Leamington District Memorial Hospital.  As the hospitals transition to CHIS, IT costs may fluctuate due to involvement in new regional projects, eHealth initiatives, or changes to individual hospitals' strategic planning and priorities.

What happens to the IT/IM staff who already work at the hospitals?

All existing IT staff at HDGH and LDMH will be offered positions with CHIS.  Hospital employees transferring to CHIS will transfer at their existing HDGH/LDMH rate of pay, and job description.  No probationary period will need to be served by transferring employees.

What does joining CHIS look like?

For the short-term, things remain largely as they are as a transition plan is put in place to transition operations from the hospitals to CHIS.  The transition plan includes completing a hospital needs assessment, skills assessment and gap analysis to determine the best individualized service delivery model for the hospital.  At a regional level, collaborative planning continues as has been done in the past, but within the formalized structure of CHIS.

What Types of Services and Projects Does CHIS Provide?

Through formal Service Level Agreements, CHIS provides a complete IT/IM support service to its members, which includes installing, servicing and maintaining existing systems, both infrastructure and applications and providing day-to-day Service Desk support to end users. 

In addition, as part of its regional mandate, CHIS is responsible for the planning and implementation of new IT/IM projects at a regional level, as well as at an individual hospital level.  CHIS also leads and operates the eHealth Project Management Office, which is funded by the Erie St. Clair LHIN to work with providers to plan and execute provincial eHealth priorities within the LHIN.  This includes things like the Electronic Health Record, the provincial Diabetes Management, Medication Management and Wait Times Strategies, the Integrated Assessment Record for Mental Health, Picture Archiving and Communication System (shared Digital Imaging) and others.

What are some of CHIS's regional successes to date?

A couple of recent examples of CHIS's regional leadership are provided below:

ALC RM & R Project

CHIS has recently completed the first phase of a project that spans not just Erie St. Clair, but three other LHINS as well.  With funding from the Erie St. Clair LHIN to support the planning of a comprehensive resource matching and referral system, CHIS is leading the development of what is called the ALC RM & R Project.  The project is focused on using information technology to create a system that helps patients move from an acute care bed to another more appropriate bed, thereby alleviating some of the pressure on acute care beds occupied by patients who require an 'alternate level of care' or ALC.  Through the use of the system, care managers will be able to identify patient transfer and discharge needs and determine the availability of resources earlier in the patient's treatment.  This will result in better referral decisions and an increased number of completed referrals.

Integrated Clinical Viewer

CHIS is working on behalf of the Erie St. Clair LHIN and the South West LHIN to develop a clinical viewer that will communicate information securely between provider organizations.  The results will benefit clinicians and patients across both regions by enhancing the secure access to and flow of patient information. 


For further information: For further information:

Zoja Holman, LHIN Coordinator

Consolidated Health Information Services

Office: 519-437-6168

Cell: 519-965-4711
Ron Foster, Vice President, Public Affairs,

Communications and Philanthropy

Windsor Regional Hospital

519-254-5577, ext. 52003

Kim Spirou,

Vice President of Communications and Development

Hôtel-Dieu Grace Hospital

519-973-4411, ext. 3233

Kim Bossy, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs

Bluewater Health 519-464-4452

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance


Sarah Padfield, Vice President,

Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer

Leamington District Memorial Hospital

(519) 326-2373 ext. 4249
Shannon Sasseville

Director, Communications and Community Engagement,

Erie St. Clair LHIN

519-351-5677 ext. 225

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