We are all aware of the stereotype that doctors have poor penmanship. Well, those handwritten doctor notes and medication orders are on the way out as our area’s hospitals move into the modern age for managing health information. At our club meeting on Thursday, March 11, Dr. Ian Johnston, Chief Medical Information Officer at the ChathamKent Health Alliance (CKHA), told us about the e-Volve project – an exciting transformation initiative that improves efficiency and patient safety.
“When you think about what happens with that paper, it’s actually a bit crazy,” said Dr. Johnston. “Perhaps you can read it, perhaps you can’t. If I write a series of orders on that piece of paper, some of it will need to go to the lab, some of it will need to go to the pharmacy, some of it will need to go to the nurse, some will need to go to x-ray. So it’s really a big deal to get these handwritten things all over the place.”
Dr. Johnston said the other issue with the old system was that the patient chart could only be accessed “in person.” Now, thanks to e-Volve, paper has pretty much disappeared using this modern system. Doctors enter orders on a computer and those orders are electronically sent to the appropriate locations (e.g. lab, pharmacy). Also, the patient chart is now electronic and can be accessed by the patient’s entire care team from anywhere an internet connection is available. “We’re doing a much better job discharging our patients and making it clear what the plan is down the road,” stated Dr. Johnston, saying improved patient health outcomes is the point of moving to this electronic system.
The e-Volve project began in 2018. In fall 2020, Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington was the first hospital to “go live,” followed by CKHA and HotelDieu Grace Hospital in Windsor a few weeks later. Windsor Regional Hospital will go live in April 2021. We thank Dr. Johnston for providing his informative presentation about a very important topic. If you wish to view the recording of the entire meeting follow this link to the recording on our website.