Technical details

Answers to questions related to computers, technical devices, software or systems.

Computers and equipment

Will we have access to the devices we need to access the new clinical information system?

Yes. We understand it is imperative our health professionals have the right devices in place to support their work.

A Clinical Device Task Force, made up of multi-disciplinary professionals from across VCH, PHSA and PHC was established to determine and evaluate the devices needed to support clinical practices. Before each site goes live with CST, the Device team will work with site coordinators to determine what shortlisted devices would work best for them, how many and where they need them. They will also work with sites to assess power availability and network connectivity.

What will happen if I require a tablet for my area of specialty?

Certain units or specialties may require access to the new clinical information system through their tablet. A project, called mConnect, is currently underway to make our new clinical information system available on a smaller screen size for certain clinical areas, however the small screen size means that functionality may not be as robust as that offered by workstations on wheels (WOWs).

The CST project’s Device team is currently providing input to IMITS regarding a formal Bring Your Own Device program. In addition, the Device team is working with HSSBC to add a suitable tablet option to the standard device catalogue.

If I am the last site to go live, won’t the devices be old and out of date?

Creating a culture of continuous improvement is part of the CST project and a priority for VCH, PHSA and PHC. The CST Device team will monitor the market for new devices. As new devices are released they will be assessed against the needs of VCH, PHSA and PHC and made available as appropriate.

Software and systems

Will the CST system integrate with other systems such as Muse?

The new system will allow you to instantly bring up patient information – like ECG or blood count results – instead of going to a separate system like MUSE or Excelleris to look it up.

The new clinical information system will communicate with systems including, but not limited to:

  • Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
  • Sunquest
  • mModal
  • MUSE
  • Excelleris

Some of the systems you currently use will be retired, but you will be able to see the data from those systems. Most historical electronic records will remain available as "view only" data, meaning you can see it but you can’t edit it.

We are working out how the Primary Access Regional Information System (PARIS), which is used in community care, will communicate with CST in the future.

Will the CST system integrate with PharmaNet?

The current Ministry of Health requirements do not allow information from PharmaNet to be shared electronically with other systems. However, the Ministry is developing standards to permit hospital information systems to pull in PharmaNet information, and to send information back to PharmaNet upon discharge.

Island Health is partnering with Cerner to develop a prototype that is currently being trialed, with Ministry approval, at Oceanside Health Centre in Parksville. We are awaiting the results of this pilot to determine whether this solution will work for CST.

What will happen if/when the system goes down?

There will be a comprehensive downtime plan. The plan will include a downtime preparedness checklist and the step-by-step processes to follow during both planned downtime (required for system upgrades) and unplanned downtimes (for unlikely emergencies such as a system wide failure).

To ensure continuity of care during downtime, clinicians and staff will have access to a view-only copy of the electronic patient record within a special downtime viewer. These records will be available to view and print from computers on the unit and other locations to be determined during the CST Technical Site Readiness Assessment.

Technical downtime plans are combined with business continuity plans ‎to determine clinical workflow during a system outage.

Won't it be time consuming if I have to log in and out of a computer each time I need patient information?

Improving the logon experience for all users is a high priority for IMITS Enterprise Architecture and CST. Working with its IM/IT and application partners, IMITS EA aims to reduce the number of user names and passwords required across all applications and systems, including Cerner. In collaboration with the CST Device and Infrastructure teams, IMITS EA is working on a design that will optimize performance, minimize complexity and tie all required access to one unique user identity. The solution will be shared through various channels when it is finalized.

Where does the community-based PARIS system fit in?

PARIS will continue to be used as it is now. We are working out how PARIS and CST will communicate with each other in the future.