CST success: Sechelt Hospital goes live with CST Cerner

(L-R): Dr. Chinmay Dalal, Physician champion; Darlene MacKinnon, Vice President, VCH, Coastal; Sean Parr, Interim Vice President, VCH Coastal; and Dr. Peter Edmunds, Senior Medical Director, VCH Coastal.

On May 14, 2022 Sechelt Hospital, Totem Lodge, Shorncliffe Intermediate Care Home and Sumac Place joined other Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Coastal Community of Care acute sites by transitioning to CST Cerner, an electronic health records system. This is part of the Clinical and Systems Transformation (CST) project rolling out across VCH, the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Providence Health Care.

“I have so much gratitude for all of our Sechelt staff and those who travelled from Vancouver to support us in this crucial transition," said Marius Welgemoed, Medical Director, Sechelt/Gibsons, VCH Coastal. “We managed to roll out a very successful go-live day despite setting a record for the busiest day in Emergency in 2022. Everyone's commitment to CST, training and hard work made it happen."

The VCH Coastal CST leadership team worked closely with clinicians and providers, many of whom took on roles as “peer mentors," in Sechelt providing on-site support to colleagues. Adopting a new system requires significant planning and training; these preparations were led by a cross-section of teams including clinical informatics, clinicians and providers, allied health professionals, lab teams, pharmacy, health information management and medical imaging.

“The training was useful and also my previous experience working occasionally at St. Paul's Hospital has been helpful," said Dr. Rayna Sivakova, Physician, Family Practice, Obstetrics. “Having our go-live here, it all makes so much sense. I feel confident in what I'm doing now."

Lions Gate Hospital, Squamish General Hospital, Whistler Health Care Centre and Pemberton Health Centre were the first Coastal acute sites and the first in project history to go live with CST Cerner in 2018; lessons learned from these sites proved valuable in Sechelt.

“Back in 2018, VCH was initially preparing to go live at two hospitals supported with a single clinical informatics specialist (CIS) and a Director of Clinical Informatics," said Cindy Sellers, Senior Manager, Clinical Informatics, VCH. “The CIS role was limited to helping navigate a new way of working and troubleshooting support. Today, the clinical informatics team has grown to ten professionals and this function has become vital to both CST implementations and ongoing operations."