Joint CHUM/MUHC Technological Transition - "The Digital Hospital: Between Interface and Face to Face"

    MONTREAL, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - To save time and money and maximize their
efforts, directors at the CHUM and the MUHC are pooling their expertise and
working jointly to replace source information systems for clinical data with
new and more effective clinical information systems shared by the two
hospitals. Known as the "technological transition," this project will be the
subject of a symposium next Thursday and Friday (June 5 and 6) at the Mount
Royal Centre, titled The Digital Hospital: between Interface and face to face.
A few hundred participants from the health sector are expected to attend.
    How will test results, medical notes and other clinical data be
integrated into tomorrow's patient records? How will clinical data stored in
incompatible information systems be consolidated and made accessible to
clinicians? How will hundreds of pages of paper-based patient records be
converted and made available in the new electronic format? Experts from the
CHUM and the MUHC must find answers to these questions in order to make this
technological transition a success. Their challenge lies in finding a common
platform for all clinical data and offering clinicians an overview of the
patient's situation.

    An Electronic Record that Benefits the Patient

    Already used on most care units in the two hospital centres (CHUM and
MUHC), the Oacis clinical information system (CIS) integrates clinical data on
the patient and offers clinicians an overview of the patient's condition. All
health professionals are given a personal access code, and the user-friendly
Oacis system helps them save time by sparing them the necessity of searching
for information in different software packages.
    While all of its applications are not yet available, the vast majority of
health professionals from the two establishments have already adopted the
system. During its deployment phase, the system will gradually offer an
increasing number of technological options: in short, the best is yet to come.
"Oacis has already made our lives and that of patients easier; however, the
great advantages lie in the improved quality of care. By using the full
potential of these software applications, we'll be able to quickly and
significantly reduce the potential for medical errors," explains Dr. Jeffrey
Barkun, chair of the CIS coordination committee at the MUHC.
    Patients may not yet notice the difference, but they're always happy to
learn that their physician has timely access to their test results. A sign of
the times: "Patients tell us that they're reassured by the system's
reliability," says Dr. Valiquette, chair of the CIS coordination committee at
the CHUM.

    A Highly Rewarding Team Effort for Both Institutions

    Teams at each institution are working jointly to integrate clinical
documentation and electronic prescriptions into the Oacis system with a view
to optimizing information-sharing among caregivers and reducing the risk of
adverse events sometimes associated with re-transcription. "I've enjoyed
working on this transition with a partner like the CHUM," says Dr. Valiquette.
"This management structure allows us to share our respective resources and
expertise, which are complementary."
    At the same time, other teams are working to establish a process for
digitizing data not available in source systems so that physical files don't
have to be moved from one place to another within the same hospital and from
one hospital to another. "Working on the CIS project has been very rewarding,
as it's a model of collaboration between university hospital centres from a
human standpoint and in terms of its impact on the clinical environment," says
Dr. Jeffrey Barkun. "In the long run patients are the real winners, as these
efforts, on the whole, contribute to the effectiveness and quality of care."

    About the CHUM and the MUHC

    World-renowned hospital centres: with more than 20,000 employees and over
1.5 million patient visits per year, the CHUM and the MUHC offer specialized
and ultraspecialized care to clients both regionally and provincially. The
mission of the CHUM and the MUHC includes care, research, teaching, the
assessment of technologies and modes of intervention in health, and, at the
CHUM, the promotion of health.

For further information:

For further information: Chantal Huot, Consultant, communications and
public relations Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, (514)
890-8000, extension 15380; Seeta Ramdass, Coordinator, Public Relations and
Communications, McGill University Health Centre, (514) 934-1934, extension
34320; Source: CHUM communications; MUHC Public Relations and Communications

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Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)

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