North East LHIN’s health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health, a government agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians continue to receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.
The ONE Initiative
The ONE Initiative is a regional partnership in northeastern Ontario with the vision of delivering patient and family-centred care through ONE electronic health information system (HIS) across the region. The name ONE refers to one system for the northeast and one chart for each patient on the system.
This vision is supported by our Health Information System Roadmap. The strategies in this roadmap include:
The installation of MEDITECH Expanse, which will serve as the regional HIS for all 24 acute hospitals.
Establishing a regional Governance Group that include hospitals and other system partners to set digital priorities for the region.
All 24 acute-care NE Ontario hospital Boards have committed to work together to achieve the vision.
Work achieved on EMR and Clinical Standardization
The first phase of the project is referred to as WAVE 1; it involves North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC), West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC) and the Sault Area Hospital (SAH). It began in 2017 and will be completed at the end of 2019.
WAVE 1 has been a tremendous undertaking, involving complex, integrated collaboration over hundreds of kilometres of distance. Physicians and departmental teams from these three sites have worked together for two years to plan and build the system, and to develop and deliver training for physicians and staff to support the transition to the new technology and new workflows.
In October 2019, each of the WAVE 1 hospitals connected to the new shared system, resulting in an enormous transformation from the aging and separate health information systems, which were a mix of paper and older technology, previously operated by these hospitals.
The single Health Information System (HIS) is based on common standards. It has been built to meet the specific needs of Northeastern Ontario. The transition to a single HIS benefits everyone who gives, receives or supports the delivery of care in ONE Initiative hospitals.
This advanced system offers regional best practice content and clinical support tools to improve patient safety and transitions of care. This includes more than 300 regional evidence-informed, standardized order sets built into the system.
The partnership puts patients first. The shared system improves patient safety and provides a better care experience for patients.
Clinicians also benefit through a more efficient workflow, real-time notifications, and complete and timely access to a patient’s story between the three hospitals.
This work was guided by an Executive Steering Committee formed by CEOs from Englehart and District Hospital, Kirkland and District Hospital, Health Sciences North (SVP), Manitoulin Health Centre, North Bay Regional Health Centre, Sault Area Hospital, Temiskaming Hospital, Timmins and District Hospital, and West Parry Sound Health Centre.
The vision is that the remaining 21 hospitals—WAVE 2— will follow.
How will this benefit patients?
To view a video of Cathy Turner, AVP Client Services Division, discussing the success factors in a full implementation of an electronic health information system and the ONE Initiative, click here.
To view a video of North Bay Regional Health Centre going live, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our engagements clearly show that Northerners want access to one electronic medical record. This One Person, One Record, One System initiative helps provide equitable, standardized clinical documentation for all patients in the North East. Of all the tools found in a hospital, the EMR is the one that touches all patients.
The transformation benefits patients in many important ways, including:
- Helping prevent medication errors.
- Providing care teams with complete and timely access to a patient’s journey. Helping patients tell their story/history.
- Eliminating difficult-to-read handwritten notes.
- Keeping a patient’s medical record in one single, secure, and accessible place.
What are the benefits of this new system for health care providers?
The implementation of MEDITECH Expanse improves the experience for physicians and healthcare providers at these hospitals in many important ways, including:
- Improving access to a patient’s medical record across our region.
- Improving access to evidence-based care.
- Reducing unnecessary variations in care.
- Reducing medication administration errors.
- Reducing testing duplication.
- Helping patients tell their story.
How much will this project cost and what about timelines?
Multiple funding sources are being leveraged for this project, ranging from local, provincial, to private foundations. WAVE 1 went live in October 2019. The details of the timing for WAVE 2 are still in the early stages of planning. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses and inform you of ways to get involved.
What is being done to ensure patient information is safe in the new system?
Hospitals on this system are committed to keeping patient health information confidential and secure. Access to patient health information is limited to authorized people in the patient’s circle of care, a term used to describe the health care providers treating the patient who need information to provide that care.
Protecting personal health information is not just the right thing to do, it is the law. Ontario’s health care privacy law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004), as well as other applicable laws, and security and privacy policies and procedures, mandate that hospitals are responsible for ensuring personal health information is held securely and confidentially.
Through the implementation of physical, administrative, and technical safeguards, consistent with best practices, personal health information is secured from unauthorized collection, use and disclosure, as well as theft, loss, destruction, and damage.
Electronic patient information on the shared ONE system is stored in Ontario. There is a back-up of the information to keep it secure in situations such as a power outage or natural disaster.