Links with other systems

Dr. Eric Grafstein“We have a tremendous reliance on information from both inpatient units and the community in order to know what’s going on with the patient,” says Dr. Eric Grafstein, CST Chief Medical Information Officer, VCH/PHC. “We need the information at our fingertips.”

CST will integrate more than 300 different systems currently in use across VCH, PHSA and PHC, ensuring important data is readily available to our staff. The data will be synthesized in the new clinical information system. This will be completed before each site activates the new clinical information system. 

It’s about bringing everything together in a single repository, says Dr. Grafstein. So, even if data remains in a different system, it won’t look like it.

Integration of multiple systems reduces duplicate data entry. It potentially introduces errors if users have to enter patients’ identifiers into systems that aren’t talking to each other.

Without integration, important information – such as allergy interactions, what drugs have been dispensed and what labs have been done – wouldn’t be shared between systems.

Interfaces are being designed as connection points between existing systems and the new clinical information system. They bridge the gap between two systems that weren’t designed to work together.

Dr. Grafstein says it will make things a lot easier. The new system will allow him to instantly bring up patient information – like electrocardiogram (ECG) or blood count results – instead of asking someone to look it up for him in various systems like Muse, PathNet or Excelleris.

He adds these benefits are major steps on the road to transforming our health care system to be smarter.

“This project will improve patient care, the efficiency of care and patient safety – and it’s rare to have the opportunity to do all three.”

Download a printable version of the article Integrating systems for CST success (PDF).