Blog - eHealth Centre of Excellence

Digital Health News

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




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.




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!





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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If you are interested in using tablets in your primary care practice, see the poster below for more information. 


Don’t forget, the deadline for submissions of interest is Wednesday March 7th, 2018.




Please click here to download the PDF.


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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.

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Danika Walden

 Danika Walden


As part of Digital Health Week 2017, the eHealth Centre of Excellence (eCE) blog will feature posts from guests discussing why digital health is important to them. Today’s post is from QBIC (Quality Based Improvements in Care) Program Manager Danika Walden.


In collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Waterloo Wellington (CMHA WW), the eHealth Centre of Excellence is supporting primary care providers in the screening and management of mental health concerns through the use of tablets.


How it works: Patients use the tablet while they are sitting in the waiting room prior to their appointment to complete 


mental health screening and other assessments. A secure transmission automatically updates the patient’s chart in the electronic medical record (EMR) with the information that the patient has entered into the tablet, prior to the patient’s appointment.


Not only does this significantly decrease administrative tasks, but it also allows the primary care provider to review the information prior to seeing the patient, thereby enabling them to focus on areas that need more attention.


And most importantly, what we’ve found is that the tablet screening actually enhanced some patients’ ability to communicate.


Sensitive health issues, particularly related to mental health, can be hard to talk about. Of the patients surveyed who used a tablet to complete an assessment, 34.7% indicated that using the tablet helped them provide more honest answers, and 22.4% said they would not have liked to answer the questions during a face-to-face chat with their doctor.


We’ve become a society were using technology to communicate has become the norm – and in some cases, it’s even preferable to other methods!


Tablets statistics

Digital health is important to me because it helps patients to feel more comfortable answering tough questions – which in turn gives doctors the information they need to enhance the quality of care.


If you are a primary care provider who is interested in participating in our tablet program, please contact QBIC Change Management Specialist Meghan Brenner-Burgoyne today!


Follow us on twitter (@eHealthCE) and join the Digital Health Week conversation using #thinkdigitalhealth!




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Hannele Kivinen
January 11, 2022
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