Taking the pressure off parents as children transition to adult health care


With the implementation of CST Cerner at sites across Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and Providence Health Care (PHC), parents of children with chronic conditions can rely on care teams having access to their child’s full medical history. The shared electronic health records system gives providers a clearer understanding of a young person’s needs, allowing them to offer safer, more consistent care.

But this wasn’t always the case. Before the rollout of CST Cerner began in 2018, health care providers across B.C. maintained different patient records systems. When young people transitioned into adult care from children’s services, they often only had access to a short summary of their medical history.

In a new video, CST Chief Transformation Officer Sally Turner explains how she experienced firsthand the difficulties caused for families by disjointed records systems, inspiring her to get involved with the project.

Sally’s daughter, Tess, was born with several chronic conditions and regularly interacted with health care providers throughout her childhood. Tess transitioned from PHSA’s BC Children’s Hospital to specialists at VCH’s Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and PHC’s St. Paul’s Hospital at age 18.

“What I didn't realize is that they wouldn't have all of the information that had been captured over the last 18 years… You don't know what information that you may forget to tell somebody is important to the care of your child, so it seems to put a lot of responsibility on the parent,” says Sally.

Dr. Stephen Van Gaal, a Neurologist at VGH and Associate Chief Medical Information Officer for CST VCH-Vancouver, says, prior to CST, “it was often difficult to get the full picture of a patient's illness before they arrived, because we would be dealing with incomplete records… CST has brought us to a place where I think patients and families might have expected that we were five, 10, 15 years ago.”

Today, CST Cerner relieves the pressure on parents to maintain their child’s medical information. “I now know that any of the documentation entered into CST Cerner is available to any of the specialists I see at any of our facilities,” expresses Sally.

Watch the full video to find out more.