Surgeon says CST means "no more bad handwriting, inconsistencies and assumptions about orders"

When Dr. Tracy Scott first heard that the Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) project was coming to Providence Health Care, it provoked anxiety. What was going to happen? After all, implementing such a significant change in clinical practices and systems is no easy feat.

"It's a difficult thing trying to learn a new process. It's kind of like we're back in medical school," said the General Surgeon on November 23, 2019 — a week after go-live. "But I do feel like people are trying their best and are trying to make it as efficient and as safe for the patients as possible." 

Over 8,000 care providers at St. Paul's Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital and Holy Family Hospital, as well as affiliated care homes and select clinics, made the switch to the CST Cerner system last year. For many, like Dr. Scott, transitioning to a new way of working was challenging — but worth it to realize the benefits on the other side.

"With CST, the thing I'm most excited about is being able to look at my patients anytime that I want to. I can also talk to the other teams if I need to, to make sure that patient care is okay, and I can do that from my office, I can do that from the ward, I can do that from my house. So it really lets me know in the moment what's happening with my patients," explained Dr. Scott. 

Physicians and other providers now place orders for medications, diagnostic tests and patient care via computerized provider order entry (CPOE), and all notes are documented and signed in CST Cerner to make them viewable. For the 610,000 patients served at the sites each year, it means improving the safety, quality and consistency of their care.

"This is going to help our patients because the whole healthcare team is going to have legible orders — no more bad handwriting, inconsistencies and assumptions about orders. Then hopefully, at some point, we'll be able to use this for research to make sure that we're at the forefront of first-class care for British Columbia," said Dr. Scott.