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In collaboration with the Ontario eConsult Centre of Excellence, the eHealth Centre of Excellence is leveraging the Ocean eReferral Network as part of an eConsult/eReferral Proof of Concept (POC). This POC will work to understand how integrating technologies can support clinical workflows, increase efficiencies, enhance patient care, and improve both provider and patient experience.

 

Currently, there are 10 specialists in the fields of Cardiology, Endocrinology, Neurology, Orthopedic Surgery, Paediatric Psychiatry, Sports Medicine, and Urology participating in the POC. Within their Ocean eReferral form, there is language indicating that they may respond back to the referral request with an eConsult if clinically appropriate.

 

eConsult eReferral POC


Click the image above to view a demo of the POC workflow.

 

We’re excited to share that this past month, the POC had its first end-to-end eConsult completed through Ocean eReferral (with the previous 9 eConsults proceeding as an eReferral).

 

Currently, primary care providers can send an eConsult directly to specialists through the OTN Hub. eConsults have been shown to reduce the number of unnecessary referrals, with one primary care provider noting that 8 out of 10 eConsults she conducted to date avoided referrals to specialists.

 

This timely access to experience-based specialist knowledge means patients do not have to wait to be seen in-person by a specialist, enabling them to stay home and reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

 

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We’ve had another busy and productive year here at the eHealth Centre of Excellence, and we’re proud of what our team and partners across the community have achieved. We’d like to share a few of our highlights from 2019.

 

We were delighted when our Managing Director, Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia, was recognized as this year’s recipient of the Canadian Health Informatics Award (CHIA) Digital Health Executive of the Year. Well deserved!

 

Our team was out spreading the word on the benefits of digital health adoption. We presented at several events and conferences, including but not limited to:

  • eHealth Canada 2019
  • AFHTO (Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario) – where we received top marks for best group presentation for our talk on our digital health toolbox!  Presentation pictured right.
  • And most recently, we participated in the eConsult Centre of Excellence forum

eCE team at AFHTO

 

Our digital health tools also hit some big milestones! Read more below:

 

Virtual Visits

 

There have been over 18,000 virtual visits (as of December 15, 2019) in the Waterloo Wellington region since our program launched in March 2018 – the most in any region in the province!

 

We were featured in the Waterloo Record and on 570 News!

 

In May, the virtual visits team received the Patient Care Innovation Team Award at the 2019 Canadian Health Informatics Awards (CHIA) Gala and in November, received a jury-selected ITAC Ingenious Award for our work. Thank you to the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and Think Research for being great partners.

 

                            Virtual visits award

 

eConsult

 

In the Waterloo Wellington region alone, nearly 12,000 eConsults have been sent since we launched the program locally in October 2016, with the eConsult Centre of Excellence providing great leadership. 

 

Click here for an updated list of specialists from our region who are currently accepting eConsults. 

 

The OTN eConsult platform underwent a big upgrade in November, enabling clinicians to access their local specialty groups more efficiently.

 

Tablets

 

We expanded the forms available in tablets to include not only mental health assessments but other questionnaires as well. Patients are now available to update their personal information in the tablet. All information entered into a tablet is uploaded directly to the provider’s EMR.

 

All Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Waterloo Wellington are now using tablets!

 

EMR Tools & Coaching

 

Our Community Portal launched! You can now download our EMR supports directly from the portal, and make use of the community forum to ask questions and provide feedback.

 

We made some great new updates for two of our EMR tools: the palliative care toolkit and our lower back pain tool.

 

EHR Tools

 

For 2019 latest about the Electronic Health Record, take a look at the latest connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) newsletter!

 

 

eReferral

 

As of December 15, 2019, over 93,000 eReferrals have been sent through the Ocean eReferral Network, the solution supported by our System Coordinated Access (SCA) program since we launched in August 2017! We would like to thank Think Research, CognisantMD, and the Centre for Effective Practice for the great collaborative effort.

 

In a recent survey (with more than 1500 participants), 96% of patients agreed that eReferral is an easy process and that eReferral notifications improve the patient experience.

 

                              Patient testimonial

 

We're looking forward to seeing what 2020 will bring! One thing is for sure: the future of healthcare is here.

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Please click here to download the PDF.

 

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Please click here to download the PDF.

 

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Please click here to download the PDF.

 

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Hannele Kivinen
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September 1, 2020
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