Enhancing Patient Outcomes Through Seamless Healthcare Connectivity in Eastern Ontario

Enhancing Patient Outcomes Through Seamless Healthcare Connectivity in Eastern Ontario
(Photo : Dr. Ashley Cook and Charge Nurse Cylin Galicia)

Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) is proud to announce that it is now facilitating the secure two-way transfer of patient electronic health records with local Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities throughout the City of Cornwall, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and Akwesasne, thanks to the Ontario eHub health information exchange system.

This seamless digital connection between facilities is a first of its kind for the region and ensures that important patient information is available to LTC staff within 30 minutes of discharge from the hospital, and vice versa, despite different Electronic Health Record systems. This is creating enhanced communication between providers and facilitating safer and more efficient transitions in care, ultimately assisting in alleviating capacity pressures and contributing to improved patient outcomes.

Dr. Ashley Cook, Vice President of Medical Affairs at CCH and Medical Director at Southbridge Cornwall, explains the transformative regional impact of the Ontario eHub, saying “Hospitals and LTC facilities often use different Electronic Health Record systems, which can cause issues and delays in sharing important patient information such as health history, allergies, and medications, relying heavily on paper records, phone calls, and even sometimes family members or caregivers to relay important information. For the first time, the Ontario eHub allows us to overcome the challenges posed by different Electronic Health Record systems, ensuring that critical patient information is available as accurately and soon as possible to healthcare providers involved in the transition of care.”

The six local LTC facilities currently connected with CCH through the provincial eHub system are Glen Stor Dun Lodge, Lancaster Long Term Care Residence, Sandfield Place, Southbridge Cornwall, St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, and Tsiionkwanonhso:te Long-Term Care Facility in Akwesasne. In March, the hospital announced that it had started sharing outbound patient records in a one-way connection with these facilities as part of the project’s initial roll-out phase.

With these new two-way connections established, work is now underway for the next phase of the eHub roll-out, which will involve connecting regional acute care systems so that hospitals with different electronic health records can share patient information between each other, providing similar benefits for when patients are transferred between hospitals for various acute care needs.

CCH has also been working towards the launch of a new version of its MyChart™ patient portal, tentatively scheduled for the early new year. The upgraded portal will introduce innovative new features aimed at providing patients, families, and caregivers with more comprehensive healthcare management tools and reminders, in addition to the ability of viewing their hospital health records.

Guided by its 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, CCH is prioritizing integration as a key element in innovative healthcare transformation towards a more interconnected regional healthcare system to better respond to the short and long-term needs of local patients.

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