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Kidney Talks, Achieving Excellence Together & Hacking Health Café

It’s conference season! In addition to eHealth 2018 and WWCRQI, the eHealth Centre of Excellence has participated in a number of other events that recently.

 

Kidney Talks 2018

eHealth Centre of Excellence Managing Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia (pictured left) gave a presentation at Kidney Talks 2018, hosted by the Ontario Renal Network (ORN), and spoke about how the Kidney Wise toolkit is now available in a format that can be integrated with primary care electronic medical records (EMRs). For more information on this tool, take a look at the QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) catalogue!

 
Achieving Excellence Together 2018

eHealth Centre of Excellence team members Allie Piatkowski and Lori-Anne Huebner participated in a Health Links panel that highlighted different types of Health Links evaluations in Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across the province. Their presentation focused on the evaluation that they had completed on the Health Links approach to care in the Waterloo Wellington LHIN, to understand how it is impacting patients and care providers. To take a look at their Health Links case studies, please click here.

 

Hacking Health Café

As part of Communitech’s Peer2Peer Network, Hacking Health Waterloo provides a forum where technology creators and health care professionals can connect to discuss and collaborate on issues with the hopes of improving health care in Waterloo Region. To help foster this collaboration among the digital health community, Hacking Health Cafés are held monthly across various locations in the region.

 

The eHealth Centre of Excellence was invited to the June Hacking Health Café to present on the Waterloo Wellington VirtualCare pilot program, and QBIC team members Meghan Brenner-

Burgoyne (pictured below, left) and Sara Di Gregorio provided an overview and background of the project, as well as a live demonstration of the VirtualCare platform. The audience was heavily engaged and the presentation yielded many great questions that sparked some interesting discussion – it was a pleasure to meet and network with this diverse group of professionals and we hope to join another Hacking Health Café again in the future!

 

 

 

We’re always looking for more opportunities to share knowledge and spread the word on the digital health services available (or coming soon).

 

For more information, please feel free to explore our website or contact info@ehealthce.ca.

 

 

 

 

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Showcasing innovations at WWCRQI 2018

A number of team members from the eHealth Centre of Excellence were thrilled to be invited to participate in the McMaster Waterloo Wellington Clinical Research and Quality Improvement Symposium, an annual event which puts the spotlight on local clinical research and quality improvement initiatives. This year’s symposium took place on May 30, and was attended by over 250 students, clinicians, professionals, and researchers from across the Waterloo Wellington region.

 

 

Alexandra Piatkowski and Billy Bostad presented a poster based on some of the research they’ve done for the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program Primary Care Data Sharing (PCDS) proof of concept, which is exploring the feasibility of making data from primary care electronic medical records (EMRs) shareable with the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™. You can see their full poster presentation here.

 

There was also a poster presentation by Jennifer La from our QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) Program, which took a closer look at the benefits of giving patients tablets to fill out mental health assessments while they’re in the waiting room. Her poster can be viewed here.

 

Heba Tallah Mohammed from our System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program was also on hand to present her poster – available here – on the benefits of the electronic referral (eReferral) platform currently being deployed by the SCA team.

 

The eHealth Centre of Excellence also hosted a booth this year (pictured left), giving attendees the chance to learn more about the various digital health services and tools we offer.

 

And after the event, we were excited to learn that our participation was recognized with the following awards:

 

   

 

 

 

For more information on this year’s WWCRQI, please visit: http://crqi2017.squarespace.com/crqi2018/

 

 

 

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eHealth Centre of Excellence participates in e-Health 2018

Canada’s annual e-Health conference, now in its 18th year, offers a fantastic opportunity to learn about digital health initiatives that are taking place across the country, as well as share learnings about the local solutions that are working for us with the conference’s 1,500+ delegates (representing experts from across the spectrum of healthcare and information technologies).

 

This year, the eHealth Centre of Excellence was invited to give a number of presentations that showcased some of the work we’re supporting to deploy digital health technologies in our region.

 

Michelle Cousins (pictured right) gave two presentations on the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Primary Care Data Sharing Program (PCDs) proof of concept, which is exploring the feasibility of sharing data from primary care electronic medical records (EMRs) with other providers in the patient’s circle of care. For an update on recently PCDS activities, take a look at the latest cSWO update.

 

Lori-Anne Huebner (pictured right) gave a poster presentation on “A Model of Practice to Support Vendor Procurement” – the poster is available here, and takes a look at the innovation procurement model used by our System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program to find a vendor capable of building an electronic referral (eReferral) solution that could meet a number of 

complex needs. That eReferral solution has since gone live in Waterloo Wellington (with over 5,000 eReferrals now sent!), and is in the process of being adopted in other regions across Ontario.

 

Danika Walden also presented on the innovative methodologies used to procure a technology solution for Virtual Visits in Waterloo Wellington, which is currently in the midst of a year-long proof of concept.

 

And finally, Ted Alexander (pictured left) – our Vice-President of Partnerships & Clinical Innovations – gave a talk on the unique digital health service bundle that we offer, as our region’s one-stop resource for ehealth tools and services .

 

Overall, we were delighted to be able to participate and share updates on the many exciting ehealth initiatives we’re currently supporting – and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event!

 

 

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Coming up: WWCRQI Symposium 2018

Our Benefits Realization (BR) team will be presenting some of our digital health research at this year’s annual McMaster Waterloo Wellington Clinical Research and Quality Improvement (WWCRQI) Symposium – we hope to see you there! Details are posted below.

 

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eCE participates in eHealth 2017

At this year’s National eHealth 2017 Conference & Tradeshow, which took place in Toronto from June 4-6th, the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) was invited to participate and give presentations in a number of panels to share with attendees from across Canada some of the ehealth initiatives we’ve been leading.

 

eHealth 2017 Tradeshow

 

First up, eCE Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia and QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) Program Manager Danika Walden gave a talk called “Be Inspired by Easily Achieved Enhanced Use of the EMR!”  During the presentation, they spoke about how QBIC works with primary care providers in Waterloo Wellington to show them how to use their electronic medical record (EMR) in the most optimal way possible, enabling them to enhance the way they deliver care to their patients.

 

SCA presentation

Next, in a panel called “Future Priorities in Digital Health”, System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program Manager Lori Moran spoke alongside Sharon Baker, Director of Innovation Procurement at the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC) about the unique methods – called “innovation procurement” – used to find a vendor capable of designing and deploying an electronic referral solution for the Waterloo Wellington region, and potentially beyond. The eReferral Proof of Concept is now in full swing (read an update here), thanks in large part to the innovation procurement process. Creative approaches yield creative results!

 

Learn more about innovation procurement in this issue of Canadian Healthcare Technology.

 

The SCA program also had a poster presentation on the process, designed by SCA Program Coordinator Paula Lee.

 

Finally, Dr. Alarakhia co-presented with Dr. Kirk Hollohan, the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Clinical Lead and Dr. Ian Digby, Guelph General Hospital Emergency Department Physician, on cSWO’s “Primary Care Data Sharing Proof of Concept: Enhancing the EHR.” You can read about this presentation and more in cSWO’s latest newsletter.

 

All in all, the eCE team had a great time presenting on some of our current digital health projects and learning about other ehealth initiatives not only in Canada, but internationally as well. Already looking forward to next year!

 

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WWCRQI 2017: A day to share ideas

Team members from the eHealth Centre of Excellence were recently invited to give several presentations at the Waterloo Wellington McMaster Clinical Research and Quality Improvement (WWCRQI) Symposium.

 

 

It was a busy day, with Benefits Realization Specialist Julia Bickford (pictured above) kicking things off with a presentation on the connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Digital Health Drug Repository (DHDR), which is currently being rolled out across the region. The DHDR is an enhancement to the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™, that enables authorized users to view dispensed drug data covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program, as well as monitored drugs (narcotics) and community pharmacy services (in addition to information on hospital pharmacy services, which was already available through ClinicalConnect). To view some of the BR cases that research the benefits of the DHDR thus far, click here!

 

Benefits Realization Specialist Lira Hyseni was next to speak, presenting with QBIC’s Stephanie Chin (pictured below, left) on the Depression Screening tablets for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) that are currently being tested by primary care providers in Waterloo Wellington. 

 

Lira (pictured above, right) was also responsible for a poster presentation on the benefits of EMR decision support tools.

 

Finally, System Coordinated Access (SCA) Program Manager Lori Moran teamed up with eCE Benefits Realization Practice Lead Lori-Anne Huebner and Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Tom Hupel to give the afternoon’s keynote address on “Diagnostic Imaging For orthopedic patients: The problem and how eReferral can help.” (Lori and Lori-Anne are pictured left.)

 

Their talk focused on the unnecessary use of MRIs in orthopedic care, which is adding up to delays in treatment for patients as well as high costs to the system. The new eReferral solution currently being developed in Waterloo Wellington has built in appropriateness guidelines that healthcare providers can consult when making a referral. These guidelines  will help the provider to determine whether or not their patient has the criteria that would necessitate an MRI – in most cases, a simple and quick x-ray will do the trick.

 

Overall, it was a great opportunity to get the word out on eCE initiatives and get feedback from people in our community – thank you to the WWCRQI for including us, and we hope to be back next year!

 

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Upcoming EMR workshop hosted by QBIC

 

 

Please click here to download the PDF.

 

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Partnerships in eHealth 2016 event

On April 13, the Centre for Family Health Team (CFFM FHT) eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) was delighted to host Partnerships in eHealth: Enabling our Residents through Personal Health Records at the Hanlon Convention Centre in Guelph. Attendees included representatives from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integrated Network (WWLHIN), eHealth Ontario, and connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program, as well as health service providers, clinicians, and patients. In his opening address, eCE Director Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia emphasized that 89% of patients surveyed in 2014 by Canada Health Infoway expressed a desire to access their health records.

 

“If we provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision, this will lead to more empowered patients.” — Dr. Alarakhia

 

 

Dr. Alarakhia discussed several local initiatives that use technology to connect patients with information, before introducing cancer survivor Dave deBronkart to the stage to deliver the first keynote speech. “e-Patient Dave,” as he is now known online, spoke to the room about his journey navigating the healthcare system.

 

He was surprised to discover that much of the information he needed could only be found through alternative channels, such as online message boards. He urged healthcare professionals to find new ways of sharing information with patients — and the next presenter, Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Robert Bell, talked about some eHealth 2.0 projects that intend to do just that. He also acknowledged that Waterloo Wellington is leading the way in Ontario for enabling technologies.

 

 

The symposium’s final speech came from Tracey Carr from McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine, who shared some compelling projections (see stats below) that really speak to the importance of bringing patients into the circle of care. Attendees then divided into groups for the afternoon breakout sessions, giving them the chance to share ideas and insights on ehealth and patient engagement. Overall, it was a wonderful event and we thank all who participated. Hope to see you next year!

 

If Canadians (18-54) could access their personal health records:

– 47 million in-person visits to healthcare providers could be avoided
– 70 million hours in total would be saved
– 18.8 million fewer hours could be taken off work, which would add $400 million worth of activity to Canada’s economy

Statistics from Conference Board of Canada (2012)

 

 

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2016 eCE event sponsorship invitation

 

 

Please click here to download the PDF.

 

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"Canadian Institute for Health Research" event

On December 5th, 2014 the Centre for Family Medicine (CFFM) FHT eHealth Centre of Excellence co-hosted a research planning session funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR). A planning grant was awarded to researchers from the University of Waterloo, Laurier University, Conestoga College and the eHealth Centre of Excellence to explore the concept of interoperability of exchanged information in a regional electronic health record (EHR).

 

Interoperability begins with the premise that information systems need to communicate with other systems and with people. A technology platform build on standards can allow partners to execute business functions in new ways. Once the technology systems become interoperable, changes are possible for knowledge and service to become interoperable.

 

The planning session included health information systems researchers (Dr. Nick Anderson, University of California-Davis; Dr. Raza Abidi, Dalhousie University; and Duane Bender, Mohawk College iDeaWORKS), health service providers from Waterloo Wellington, Health Links, the cSWO program, the WWLHIN, Canada Health Infoway, and eHealth Ontario. The active discussion involved sharing some existing work and debating the best direction for technological improvements to patient experiences and care. The outcome of the meeting was a clarification of research questions that university partners can begin focusing on now to best inform future developments in regional EHRs.

 

 

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