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Northwestern Ontario hospitals first in province to be fully connected

(Thunder Bay – June 18, 2013) The Northwest Health Alliance (NWHA) today announced the connection of Lake of the Woods District Hospital (LWDH) in Kenora, Ontario to the region’s shared hospital information system, making the North West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) the first region in the province with a shared regional hospital information system used by all its hospitals.

With the addition of LWDH, all 13 hospitals in the Northwest are now connected to the regional hospital information system, further improving access to hospital-based patient information for clinicians.

The region’s shared hospital information system improves patient care and outcomes by making clinical information about the patient’s care available to clinicians in one single view. For patients moving between hospitals in the Northwest, the shared hospital information system enables patient health information to be available, allowing continuity of care to be maintained from one facility to another.

Future plans include enhancing the content of the LWDH patient record to include test results, pharmacy and care plans and to securely expand access to the information to other healthcare providers within the Northwest.

The project was directed by the Northwest Health Alliance (NWHA) and implemented jointly by Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Care Group in collaboration with LWDH. It is part of a larger initiative, connecting Northern and Eastern Ontario (cNEO) led by eHealth Ontario to integrate electronic health care information across the province on a regional basis. Funding for this project was provided by eHealth Ontario and supported by the North West LHIN.

“Lake of the Woods District Hospital is very pleased to be involved in completing the final link in the vision of a fully integrated health information system among all hospitals in the Northwest Region. Enhanced electronic access to clinical information will enable more efficient utilization of clinical resources and ultimately result in better coordinated, high quality care for our patients.”
Mark Balcaen M.H.Sc., FACHE, President and CEO Lake of the Woods District Hospital

“I’m excited to be part of this endeavor. It will improve care for our patients across Northwestern Ontario. Whether it is an orthopedic appointment in Dryden, chemotherapy in Thunder Bay or an emergency visit in Marathon, all their critical medical information will now be immediately available.”
Dr. Cynthia Czajka-Fedirchuk, MD, Kenora Medical Associates, Kenora, Ontario

“Considering our 13 hospitals are spread out over an area the size of France, improving timely access to patient information is vital to providing high quality patient care.”
Bruce Sutton, Executive Director of the Northwest Health Alliance

“The addition of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital into the region’s shared hospital information system makes the North West LHIN the first LHIN in Ontario to have all of the hospitals in the region using a common system – making secure clinical information sharing simpler, resulting in better care for the people of northwestern Ontario.”
-Laura Kokocinski, Chief Executive Officer, North West Local Health Integration Network

“Being able to securely share patient information with other healthcare providers in a patient’s circle of care is critical and the shared regional hospital information system makes that possible. We are excited to be part of improving patient care through this initiative.”
Andrée Robichaud, President & CEO, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre

Quick Facts:

  • There are 13 hospitals in Northwestern Ontario using the shared hospital information system: Atikokan General Hospital, Dryden Regional Health Sciences Centre, Geraldton District Hospital, Lake of the Woods District Hospital, McCausland Hospital, Manitouwadge Health Centre, Nipigon District Memorial Hospital, Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Hospital, Riverside Health Care Facilities, Sioux Lookout Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre, St Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and Wilson Memorial General Hospital
  • Over 5,500 healthcare providers at the 13 hospital sites have access to patient information through the shared hospital information system
  • The North West LHIN is the first LHIN in the province with a shared regional hospital information system used by all of its hospitals

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For further information please contact:
Bruce Sutton
Executive Director, Northwest Health Alliance
Tel: 807-632-3120

Wade Petranik
Board Chair, Northwest Health Alliance
Tel: 807-223-8262

NT3