The project

General information about the CST project.

What is CST?

CST stands for Clinical & Systems Transformation. It’s a multi-year project designed to improve the safety, quality and consistency of patient care across Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care.

A foundation of the project is the implementation of a new, shared clinical information system, based on the Cerner platform. The new system will act as a single electronic record of patient care, replacing a number of existing, outdated systems and providing significantly more clinical functionality to support clinicians at the point of care.

Is Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) about bringing new technology to health care?

CST is enabled by technology but driven by clinical goals. Implementing new technology, including a shared clinical information system, will make it easier to achieve improvements in patient care.

The terms "CST" and "Cerner" are often used interchangeably. How is CST different from Cerner?

CST is a broad clinical project, which includes several technical elements. These elements include bar-coded medication administration; front-end speech recognition; and a new, shared clinical information system, which is based on Cerner software. Here’s some more detail:

CST is a clinical transformation which is enabled by a system transformation. That means we are transforming and standardizing the way clinical work is done. These new ways of delivering patient care will be supported by a new, shared clinical information system across VCH, PHSA and PHC.

Cerner is the company that develops the clinical information system on which much of the transformation is based. Cerner software is being configured  so that it works the way our clinicians need it to.

How will CST benefit patients?
Benefits for patients will include safer medication management, more consistent care, faster access to lab results and medication therapies, less time spent repeating information during consults or undergoing duplicate tests, and knowing that care teams will have access to the information they need to provide the best possible care. 
What's the history of the CST project?

In 2008, the Ministry of Health established a strategic priority requiring all Health Authorities to rationalize and standardize their clinical information systems to one of two core clinical platforms: Cerner or MediTech. This is part of ongoing efforts to continually improve integration and communication within the BC health-care system.

VCH, PHSA and PHC chose Cerner, which has a history of successful implementations across North America. Northern Health and Vancouver Island Health Authority also use the Cerner clinical information system, while Fraser Health and Interior Health use MediTech.


Will CST Cerner be extended to other health authorities across BC?
The scope of CST implementations includes VCH, PHSA and PHC. If a health care worker has privileges with VCH, PHSA or PHC, they will be able to access the CST Cerner system from anywhere, including off-site and view patient records from all connected health care facilities.

Physicians seeing patients from other health authorities (Fraser Health, VIHA, Northern Health, etc.) will still be able to access "Read Only" versions of patient medical records through the Provincial eHealth Viewer (CareConnect) and will be able to distribute reports electronically generated within the CST Cerner system through Excelleris.


How is system functionality being designed and built for the sites? 
With the current system already in use at several sites, incremental design and build work will add additional functionality needed for the new site's clinical areas. To achieve the clinical goals of CST, and complete the remaining scope of work in a timely manner, the CST project is using a strategic approach to complete remaining design and build work while also planning for implementation at multiple sites.

Testing, which occurs at relevant periods during the project, will ensure that the new clinical information system is robust, fit for our purposes, and adheres to safety and quality guidelines.