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Close up of doctor's hands in black gloves holding test tube with blood while inserting needle into man's arm
Earning the Level 1 Choosing Wisely designation means Hamilton Health Sciences patients receive the right tests at the right time.
October 21, 2021

HHS becomes a Choosing Wisely hospital

Hamilton Health Sciences has achieved success in its efforts to ensure staff and physicians reduce the number of unnecessary tests and treatments.

The organization is now officially a Level 1 Choosing Wisely hospital. The designation means HHS was recognized for implementing several recommendations that improve quality of care. Choosing Wisely Canada is a national campaign to educate doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers to exercise their judgement when ordering tests and medications using hospital software systems.

“That means performing the right tests and treatments at the right time.”

“I’m very proud of our staff and physicians for achieving this goal to reduce unnecessary testing and treatments across our hospitals,” says Rob MacIsaac, President and CEO, HHS. “Patients and families deserve the highest quality of care when they visit any of our sites. That means performing the right tests and treatments at the right time. This latest recognition further demonstrates HHS’ commitment to high quality, more sustainable care, and excellence in patient experience.”

New hospital information system will further enhance quality of care

Choosing Wisely Canada’s goal is to reduce unnecessary tests and treatments. In June 2022, the hospital will go live with Epic, a new hospital information system. At that time, it will be even easier for healthcare providers to enter orders for tests into the system. This makes it more important for healthcare providers to have meaningful conversations with patients about tests, treatments and procedures.

“This will effectively end the ordering of tests ‘just to be on the safe side’.”

The Epic hospital information system will usher in an era of modern technology at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). Physicians, nurse practitioners and other providers will work in a much simpler and more efficient way.

This includes how they currently order tests and medications.

“I’m thrilled we are moving in this direction,” says Dr. Helene Flageole, Senior Medical Officer and Head of Service of pediatric surgery at HHS. “Epic will change the way we work and this is a big part of the transformation we’re trying to do as part of renewing our hospital information system. This will effectively end the ordering of tests ‘just to be on the safe side’.”

Fewer needle pokes

Patients and families may notice changes like fewer needle pokes for taking blood samples or less fasting because certain tests won’t need to be done.

This will reduce adverse reactions to treatment and false test positives, leading to a better healthcare experience overall.

Several hospitals in Ontario have at least a Level 1 designation from Choosing Wisely Canada. HHS is working towards becoming the first hospital in Canada using Epic to be given a Level 3 designation.

“Choosing Wisely Canada, the Ontario Hospital Association and Ontario Health (Quality) sincerely thank Hamilton Health Sciences for your leadership and continued efforts to improve our health care system,” says Dr. Wendy Levinson, Chair, Choosing Wisely Canada.

Working towards the Level 3 Choosing Wisely designation will make it much easier for healthcare professionals to comply with testing and medication guidelines using the new Epic hospital information system.

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