Follow us on:

Twitter LinkedIn

Webinar now available online: “Mental Health Tools and Resources for the EMR”

Featuring guest speaker Dr. Joan Chan, the eHealth Centre of Excellence’s QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) team recently hosted a webinar highlighting mental health tools and resources for the electronic medical record (EMR). Dr. Chan, a family physician with the Guelph Family Health Team (FHT), shares her firsthand experience with using these tools and explains how she’s adapted them into her clinical workflow.   


Features of the mental health toolkit are highlighted below:


EMR tool for Mental Health visits

 The eHealth Centre of Excellence has developed an EMR tool to assist with your mental health encounters that:

  • Standardizes documentation with an easy to use  Encounter Assistant
  • Is based off of the new HQO Quality Guidelines for Major Depression Disorder
  • Directly links to screening tools (PHQ-9, GAD-7), resources and referrals
  • Includes a new Patient handout feature, which enables you to:
    • Create an individualized treatment plan and educational handout for your patients 
    • Reinforce your in-visit health teaching
    • Create a medication plan and new medication education
    • Customize self-care activities and referrals
Added features for tablets
  • Enhance your practice by using our “QBIC Depression” tablet eForm
  • eForm links directly with our mental health visit Encounter Assistant (described above) to help auto-populate information in the EMR 
  • Be able to review your patient’s subjective information before you enter the exam room

If you are interested in more information, please contact Change Managment Specialist Tara Lonergan at:



Watch the webinar below:



“I have been using the progress note Encounter Assistant tool in combination with the OCEAN patient questionnaire for the past several months with my patients, and have found it very valuable to guide my patient encounters, and it has certainly cut down on my charting time for these visits.”


                                                           – Family Physician




Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Diagnostic Imaging in Waterloo Wellington hospitals coming soon to the Ocean eReferral Network

The eHealth Centre of Excellence’s local System Coordinated Access (SCA) team in Waterloo Wellington is excited to announce that seven hospitals – Grand River Hospital, St. Mary’s General Hospital, Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Guelph General Hospital, Groves Memorial Community Hospital, Louise Marshall Hospital and Palmerston Hospital  – are set to receive Diagnostic Imaging (DI) referrals through the Ocean eReferral Network as of the second week of March, 2018!
  • Coordinated access work has focused on standardizing requisition forms across these seven hospitals, and a standardized Ocean eReferral Network eForm based on these requisition forms with appropriateness criteria is currently being finalized.
  • The local SCA team is also working with the Waterloo Wellington DI Council to engage DI specialists within the hospitals mentioned above, with training already starting at Grand River Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Guelph General Hospital so far.
“There is a high volume of referrals for Diagnostic Imaging, and the Ocean eReferral Network will help to make the referral process quicker and everyone will know the status of a referral,” says eHealth Centre of Excellence Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia.


Questions can be directed to SCA Project Manager Danielle Olivier-Ozutok, at


If you are interested in either sending or receiving referrals using Ocean, please click here to contact the SCA team.


Did you know?

  • To date, over 1,020 eReferrals in Waterloo Wellington have been processed through the Ocean eReferral Network

  • The Shore Centre is now receiving referrals through the Ocean eReferral Network, and the SCA program is in the process of onboarding more referral senders and destinations in the region

  • You can find out who is currently receiving referrals by visiting the Ocean eReferral Network support site 






Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

eConsult spotlight: Psychiatry

QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) is a program hosted by the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) that works to provide primary care providers within Waterloo Wellington with support to incorporate telehealthcare services, such as eConsult, into their practice workflow.


Improved access to psychiatric care is now available in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) via eConsult. Using the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), primary care physicians and nurse practitioners can ask participating psychiatrists a question about current symptoms, medication issues or other treatment options and receive an answer in 3-5 days. With eConsult, many in-person visits can be avoided and patients will receive faster treatment without having to travel long distances to receive care.


Over 30 psychiatrists are now available on eConsult. In collaboration OTN and OntarioMD, the eHealth Centre of Excellence is actively recruiting psychiatrists in our region to join their colleagues in this exciting initiative.


The following psychiatrists from our LHIN are currently available to receive eConsults:


Dr. Susan Senior – General Adult Psychiatry


Specializes in general adult psychiatry but can also consult on those adolescents 16 years +

Special interests: collaborative care; workplace and mental health; mood and anxiety disorders; chronic disease management; sleep disorders; offering clinical management advice along with medication reviews/suggestions


“I value my role with helping the doctors in our area region as well as remote areas of the province where I have been fortunate to have been able to consult on the practitioners in northern communities.”


Dr. Senior is a Royal College Fellowship Trained Psychiatrist (2003) and McMaster Psychiatry Program Graduate.


Dr. David Sherman – Geriatric Psychiatry


“I am happy to eConsult on cases of patients over the age of 65 with mental health and cognitive concerns or patients younger than 65 with cognitive concerns.


I am recognized as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a board certified Geriatric Psychiatry Sub-Specialist in addition to being certified in Psychiatry.  I completed my Geriatric Psychiatry Sub-Specialty training and Psychiatry training at the University of British Columbia in 2016.   I am an Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences at McMaster University. I graduated from medical school at the University of Toronto in 2010.  Prior to that I received my Masters of Science in Neuroscience and Neuroanatomy from Dalhousie University and Bachelors of Science, with Honours in Psychology from Acadia University.


I am currently practicing outpatient and community outreach Geriatric Psychiatry at the Guelph Family Health Team and Consultation Liaison Geriatric Psychiatry at the Freeport Site of Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.”


Dr Vivian Polak – Perinatal/Reproductive Psychiatry


Specializes in patients experiencing psychiatric symptoms in the following situations: during pregnancy or in first year following delivery (women and men); fertility difficulties; miscarriage, stillbirth, termination, or death of baby or young child; pre-pregnancy assessments (i.e., for advice on the safety of psychiatric medications during pregnancy/lactation). Psychiatric symptoms or diagnoses include mood disorders (unipolar depressive disorders or bipolar disorders), generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychotic disorders, comorbid substance use disorders, eating disorders, etc.


Also available on eConsult:
  • Dr. Mohammad Saleem
  • Dr. Sophiya Benjamin
  • Dr. Dinesh Benjamin
  • Dr. Natasha Snelgrove
  • Dr. Anjali Sharma
  • Dr. Alexandre Tavares
  • Dr. Rasyidah Halim
  • Dr. Shahzad Shahmalak
  • Dr. Robyn Fallen


To view our other eConsult spotlights, please click here!


NEW: Benefits Realization case study highlights the benefits of eConsult - click here to take a look!



Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

cSWO January 2018 update



Please click here to download the PDF.


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

QBIC 2017 highlights

The QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) team has enjoyed a busy and very exciting 2017!



?Stay tuned: two informative webinars coming up in early 2018. For more information, click here.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

System Coordinated Access 2017 highlights

The electronic referral (eReferral) proof of concept came to a conclusion this past summer, and the Ocean eReferral Network officially went live across the Waterloo Wellington region in August 2017. Since this time, over 600 eReferrals have been sent from primary care and other health care providers using the system! For more information on how you can access Ocean, please click here.

More highlights:

Thanks to everyone – participating clinicians, administrative staff, patients, caregivers and partner organizations – for supporting the SCA team and eReferral project!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

cSWO Program 2017 highlights in Waterloo Wellington

As the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program Change Management and Adoption Delivery Partner (CM&A DP) for Waterloo Wellington, the eHealth Centre of Excellence has enjoyed a banner year!


  • We supported 100 per cent of hospitals across our region to gain access to the Digital Health Drug Repository (which includes Ontario Drug Benefit and Narcotics Monitoring System information) through the Home Meds view in the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect. Here’s Guelph General Hospital's Dr. Ian Digby speaking to CBC Radio Kitchener about his experience using this new enhancement to ClinicalConnect, which has improved access to real-time drug information.
  • A sub-set of primary care data is now available in the electronic health record in the Primary Care module of ClinicalConnect, for selected authorized users through a proof of concept initiative led by the eHealth Centre of Excellence, on behalf of the cSWO Program. Learn more the PCDS initiative here!
  • We’ve started the process of providing community pharmacists with access to ClinicalConnect.
  • 2017 has seen an unprecedented amount of community engagements, as we hosted a number of info-booths and drop-in training at hospitals and other healthcare organizations to promote the exciting new features available through the recent upgrade to ClinicalConnect.


For more provincial firsts from the cSWO Program, take a look at their December 2017 update!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

2017 year in review

It’s been another busy and productive year here at the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE), as we continue to support primary care and other health service providers with the adoption of digital health tools.


A few highlights from our organization as a whole:


Program level highlights:

For highlights from  the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program, click here.

For highlights from System Coordinated Access and the electronic referral (eReferral) solution, click here.

For QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care, click here.



A Message from eHealth Centre of Excellence Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia


As you can see, it’s been a year full of exciting milestones – that said, we recognize that we can’t do the work we do without the continued support from stakeholders and healthcare providers in our region. On behalf of everyone here at the eHealth Centre of Excellence I’d like to offer my thanks, as well as my warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. We’ll see you in 2018! 


Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Two webinars coming soon: Depression and Advance Care Planning

Webinar 1: Managing Mental Health Encounters in your EMR - Monday, January 22


Join the eHealth Centre of Excellence and Dr. Joan Chan, Family Physician at Guelph Family Health Team, via webinar to learn more about managing mental health encounters in your electronic medical Record (EMR).


Just released: a custom form for clinicians to use for managing and documenting depression and anxiety patient encounters in the EMR.  Part of this form is compatible with tablets and Ocean; when the patient completes the eform on the tablet, it will auto-populate part of the clinician’s note.


Other features include:

  • Auto-populating and tracking assessment tools such as PHQ-9, GAD-7 and the Brief Pain Inventory
  • Handouts with individualized Patient Medication Plans
  • Quick links to mental health resources and referral options
  • Based on the Health Quality Ontario (HQO) quality standard for major depression


During the webinar we will provide a virtual demo of the tool and how it integrates with the tablets. CME credits can be obtained through both in person and virtual sessions.


Webinar information: Monday January 22nd at 12:15pm – 1:00pm

Login information:

TCON 1-855-453-6963 ID: 9160215


The team at the eHealth Centre of Excellence can also come to your clinic to review the tool with you at any time.


Looking forward to ‘seeing’ you at the webinar!  To register, please click here.



Webinar 2: Advance Care Planning Webinar - Thursday, February 1


Join Dr. Rachael Halligan and Ashley Tyrrell for an Advance Care Planning Webinar being hosted on Thursday February 1. The webinar will highlight the Substitute Decision-Maker (SDM) EMR Tool which was developed by East Wellington Family Health Team (EW FHT) and is shared through the eHealth Centre of Excellence. If this is something that interest you, register for the event through the PDF invite below and the eHealth Centre of Excellence team can arrange to install the SDM tool for you if this is of interest! 



Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

In the news: virtual visits announcement

As we mentioned on our blog not too long ago, virtual visits will be coming soon to Waterloo Wellington!


Recently, this exciting news was profiled by a number of media outlets, including the Waterloo Record and CBC Kitchener. And check out an interview with our Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia (and a peek at some of the eHealth Centre of Excellence team!) in this feature that aired on CTV Kitchener.


The eHealth Centre of Excellence, in partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) will be rolling out virtual visits across Waterloo Wellington in a year-long pilot co-funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and REACH (Resources for Evaluating, Adopting and Capitalizing on Innovative Healthcare Technology). REACH is an $8.2-million grant funding program being delivered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence on behalf of Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.


The pilot is expected to begin in February 2018. Keep watching this space for updates!


If you have questions in the meantime, or are interested in getting involved in the pilot project, please contact QBIC Change Management Specialist Meghan Brenner-Burgyone



VENDOR ANNOUNCEMENT: We are pleased to announce that the successful vendor to support the eVisit Primary Care pilot in the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) is Think Research, a Toronto-based company that offers a number of clinical tools that connect patients and clinicians to each other while facilitating best practices. Please see below for more details.




Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn


Hannele Kivinen
January 30, 2018
show Hannele's posts
Joanna Pop
April 27, 2017
show Joanna's posts
Paula Lee
April 4, 2017
show Paula's posts

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts



Everything eCE Newsletter cSWO Update cSWO Notice ClinicalConnect HRM SCA Program (eReferral) QBIC Benefits Realization Workshops eCE Events Partnerships in eHealth Event In the News Telehealthcare eConsult Spotlight Digital Health Week Webinars