New electronic health record system to help modernize care at BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospitals

On February 26, 2022, BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre (known as C&W) and some related clinics switched from older systems and paper charts to a shared electronic health record system called CST Cerner. This move was made to help elevate and modernize care as part of the Clinical & Systems Transformation project ─ a joint initiative of Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and Providence Health Care.

Benefits to patients (and their families) who receive treatment at these facilities are many. They’ll have safer medication management thanks to new practices such as closed loop medication management (using barcode scanners to verify that the right patient is getting the right dose of the right medication at the right time). Computerised provider order entry has also been introduced to improve patient safety. This means physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical pharmacists and dentists now enter medication ‘orders’ electronically rather than writing them on paper to be transcribed.

Patients will also experience more consistent care, and less time spent repeating their information or taking duplicate tests because care teams have real-time access to their chart, including lab results and medication therapies. Furthermore, a patients’ experience may be more seamless because their general practitioners and community physicians now have improved access to results, transcribed documents and discharge summaries.

Many of the 4,500 staff and physicians who work at these C&W sites or clinics moved onto this new system in February 2022, with more clinics to follow suit next year. Care teams using CST Cerner now have enhanced connectivity with major acute hospitals in the region, such as Lions Gate Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital. They are also better equipped to provide virtual care, which has been a game changer for patients and clinicians alike in recent years.

BC Children’s Hospital is a provincial leader in general and specialized pediatric services, and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre is one of the busiest and largest maternity centres in Canada. Bringing these sites onto CST Cerner marks a significant step toward improving the safety, quality and consistency of patient care across British Columbia. 

The overall number of CST Cerner users is set to increase from ~30,000 to more than ~40,000 with the CST project rolling out to more than 70 facilities across Vancouver Coastal Health, Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care. Learn more: