Blog

Governance in Electronic Medical Record Transitions Transforms Workflows

Medical team reviewing data

Mackenzie Health, a regional health care provider which serves one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, received the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 validation. This designation certifies that Mackenzie Health has fully implemented a paperless environment through electronic medical records (EMRs) and innovative health solutions that benefit the patient experience and care.

Transitioning to a fully digital EMR arose out of the need for more timely access for health care teams to patient charts and real-time data, with the goal of supporting high-quality care for all patients at Mackenzie Health. Mackenzie Health also needed to develop an EMR model that would provide clinicians with the tools they needed and support its two-site model as the organization looks to open its second hospital – Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital – in late 2020.

To help deliver on its innovative vision, Mackenzie Health launched an Advanced Clinical Transformation project to implement a new electronic medical record (EMR). The project was focused on making information easily accessible to health care providers through the EMR, while supporting the efficiency of care delivery.

Mackenzie Health’s Clinically Led EMR Implementation

A plan to fully integrate the EMR launched in 2016, with the project being implemented across 19 applications related to inpatient, outpatient, emergency department (ED) and ancillary suites (lab, radiology and pharmacy) care.

Critical to the EMR’s planning and implementation success was a focus on change management strategies that partnered clinical expertise of frontline staff, physicians and other daily users of systems with information technology (IT) teams. The success of this project relied on synergistic and meaningful partnerships with health care professionals, and clear implementation as a clinically led initiative.

To execute this project, Mackenzie Health developed a governance structure to engage all staff, physicians and volunteers within the organization in support of the EMR change management process. Subject matter experts, including nurses, physicians and allied health, supported the project full-time. This included decision-making to help advance the build and undertaking system testing to ensure it fulfilled the rigor of day-to-day operations. All Mackenzie Health staff and physicians were trained on the new system before go-live, as a requirement to ensure efficiency and accuracy once the system was launched. Both an Operations and Informatics Command Centre supported staff with operational and system inquiries, established for 24/7 on-site support.

With a focus on patient needs now and in future, and the delivery of high-quality and safe patient care, this technology implementation, including enabled barcode scanning, electronic order entry, barcode specimen tracking and medication management, supported an improved patient care and safety experience.

One example of this is the implementation of patient pathways, such as the creation of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Pathway, which promoted workflow synchronization for physicians and nurses and supported high-quality and safe care for patients. This pre-programmed treatment plan was embedded into workflows to support patients throughout their stay and allowed for standardized treatment for the COPD patient population. Overall, Mackenzie Health saw an average reduction of 2.2 days in a patient’s overall length of stay.

HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Validation

HIMSS is proud to recognize Mackenzie Health for its validation as a Stage 7 healthcare system, as tracked by the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

“Mackenzie Health decided to make a full push to EMRAM Stage 7, and accomplished that goal in less than two years,” said Philip Bradley, regional director, North America, HIMSS Analytics. “The commitment and support from senior leadership and the clinical staff made this possible.”

“This exciting achievement recognizes and celebrates the important role of innovation in empowering high-quality and safe patient care in a busy hospital environment,” said Richard Tam, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Mackenzie Health. “We appreciate the support and leadership of Mackenzie Health’s staff, physicians, volunteers, health care professionals, patients and digital health partners as we look towards a ‘smart’ hospital future.”

Empower Your Organization with the EMRAM

Learn more about how to empower your organization with the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM.

Read another Stage 7 testimony: Stroke Care Enhanced Through Bedside Robotics

HIMSS Analytics EMRAM