In early November, 2022, Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and campus, including the Joseph and Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre, the Willow Pavilion and approximately 50 priority clinics, switched to a new electronic health records system called CST Cerner.
This change impacted 10,000 clinicians and staff making it the largest “go-live” in the history of the Clinical & Systems Transformation (CST) project. The CST project is a joint initiative of Vancouver Coastal Health, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and Providence Health Care to improve care in the province. Furthermore, the CST project is currently considered the largest Oracle Cerner program in North America in terms of scope (i.e. functionality).
The benefits for patients in B.C. are significant. Patients who visit VGH (and clinics) will now experience improvements to the consistency of their care and faster access to results and medication therapies. Their care teams will follow enhanced medication processes such as closed-loop medication management, where patients receive an armband with a barcode and their health-care provider verifies the barcode by scanning. This process helps ensure the patient receives the right dose of the right medication at the appropriate time.
Having one shared electronic health record now connects VGH to dozens of sites across B.C. that already use CST Cerner, including Lions Gate Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital, BC Children’s and BC Women’s Hospitals and BC Cancer—Vancouver. As a result, patients who visit VGH from these other sites will spend less time repeating medical history during consultations or undergoing duplicate tests. That’s because their care teams and providers will have simultaneous and seamless access to their latest chart information. The same holds true for visits with general practitioners and community physicians who now have improved access to results, transcribed documents and discharge summaries.
More VGH clinics will start using the new system in 2023 and 2024, further increasing connectivity across the campus. This achievement is an important leap forward towards enhancing the quality and consistency of patient care across British Columbia.
The overall number of CST Cerner users is now approximately 35,000 across Vancouver Coastal Health, Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care. Learn more: cstproject.ca/aboutcst