What is ConnectingSouthWestOntario?
Connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) is funded by eHealth Ontario with the goal to make an individual’s health information from across the continuum of care available in a timely and secure fashion at any point of care. This includes an integrated electronic health record (EHR) and a regional clinical viewer which supports the delivery of high-quality, safe and timely care.The regional digital health program incorporates a number of related services, such as data support, adoption and change management, benefits realizations, privacy and security management, policy development, project management, and stakeholder relations. The program involves thousands of participating health service providers in the four Local Health Integration Networks of Erie St. Clair (ESC), South West (SW), Waterloo Wellington (WW) and Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB).
Why are we undertaking this project?
In the south west Ontario cluster, cSWO will ensure that robust, scalable, reusable, standards-based platforms for integrated data exchange are available across all four participating LHINs, in alignment with the other two clusters of LHINs, and in alignment with the Ontario's Ehealth Blueprint.
Who will benefit from the cSWO Program?
The 3.6 million residents in south west Ontario benefit from the cSWO Program. An electronic health record (EHR) is now available for all 3.6 million south west Ontario residents (100 per cent of local population). This is approximately 30 per cent of Ontario’s population.
Care providers across south west Ontario have access to patient information, which supports quality of clinical decision making; less reliance on patient and family recall; increased engagement of patients and their families; and improved clinical outcomes.
cSWO is focused on enabling better care for people across south west Ontario, through the three dimensions of care: access, safety and value.
What are the cSWO Program timelines?
A great deal of work has already been completed.
A robust EHR is being used today by authorized health care professionals.This means that 100 per cent of the 74 hospital sites in south west Ontario provide data as part of the integrated EHR for Ontarians.
In addition, information and data from provincial repositories is available, including: diagnostic imaging reports from Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Common Service, drug data through the Digital Health Drug Repository (DHDR), and lab requests and results from Ontario laboratories information system (OLIS). Regionally, diagnostic images from 65 hospital sites through Southwestern Ontario Diagnostic Imaging Network (SWODIN) are now integrated in ClinicalConnect.
ClinicalConnect has been deployed to over 45,000 users in Erie St. Clair (ESC), South West (SW), Waterloo Wellington (WW) and Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) LHINs. The cSWO change management and adoption delivery partners continue to work with local health service providers to facilitate the adoption of ClinicalConnect into the regular delivery of care.
What health care organizations will be included in the cSWO Program?
The program includes hospitals, primary care, community care. When implemented, the EHR and Regional Clinical Viewer (ClinicalConnect) will be used by health care professionals at approximately 2,800 organizations in South West Ontario, including:
- Local Health Integration Networks (formerly known as community care access centres)
- Public health units
- Primary care providers (physician offices, community health centres, family health teams, etc.,)
- Community health providers (mental health and addictions, long-term care homes, community support services, etc.,)
- Community Pharmacies
What’s the difference between what you’re doing in the near-term and the mid-term?
The near-term cSWO program implementation plan identifies actions, business and solution architectures to deliver aggressive adoption across the cluster.
- Investment includes all resources needed by vendors, service providers, and hospitals to become information providers.
- Clinical data repository (CDR) investments pave the way for access to highly desirable primary care info, which enables informed planning for comprehensive rollout in the mid-term.
- Broad access to the regional clinical viewer (ClinicalConnect) delivers immediate clinical value.
- Integrated implementation and adoption weaves together and leverages provincial and local health service provider implementation capabilities within each LHIN and supports alignment regionally and provincially.
Key features of the mid-term implementation plan are to leverage provincial standard cornerstone solutions to support further aggressive expansion and roll-out of primary care data, while improving EHR accessibility and usability through use of context managed access to EHR data. Data quality is also improved through the rollout of a provincial standard Enterprise Master Health Client Index (EMPI). Most importantly, access by all health service providers to primary care data to supplement Hospital Information System (HIS), Client Health and Related Information System (CHRIS), OLIS, and SWODIN data, supports optimum use of EHR information in support of clinical transformation.
How have your stakeholders be involved to date?
Foundational to the cSWO initiative has been listening to health care providers and partners to design, develop and implement the best electronic health record. Through local clinician input, the priorities and plan have been designed to implement a robust EHR, which will provide information that doctors, nurses, therapists, dietitians, technicians ... all health care professionals need to offer timely and safe care.
cSWO’s planning process involved 70 clinical, technical and executive leaders from across the four LHINs. In addition to the 60 meetings held in 2012, there were 100 separate consultative meetings and interviews conducted with asset owners, the province and vendors, including teams from Integrated Assessment Record (IAR), ClinicalConnect, Hamilton Health Sciences, Community Care Information Management, eHealth Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, MedSeek, Rialto, Orion, SPIRE/HRM, SWODIN, OLIS, Community Care Access Centres and Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres, and CHRIS. Over 30 presentations were made to health service provider leadership groups and seven clinical focus groups were held in March and April of 2012 that collectively reached another 100-plus executive, clinical and information technology (IT) leaders in all four LHINs.
Stakeholder engagement is key to the implementation phase of the cSWO program. Engagement continues in each LHIN through the change management and adoption delivery partners and the solution delivery partners.