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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
September 13, 2017

Health care in the digital age

By Mark Farrow, chief information officer & VP of Health Information Technology Services

Photo of Mark FarrowIt is hard to remember a time when we didn’t have smart phones, apps for almost everything, and a constant connection to the internet to answer our questions and curiosities. Advancements in information technology relentlessly impact how we conduct our personal and professional lives. And this shapes our expectations about how we plan our affairs, interact with family and also, how we do our jobs.

The overlapping impact of information technology in health care is a very big deal. It’s never been easier to track and record information about our personal health – on a computer, a smart phone, or even your wrist-watch. So it’s not surprising that Hamilton Health Sciences’ patients, families and partners expect to easily share that information with and among the medical professionals at our hospital.

We are working hard to meet this expectation – and we are making progress. We have developed a Digital Health Plan (DHP) that identifies the technological solutions required at HHS to continuously improve the way our patients and clinicians share information with one another.

Our goal is to equip HHS health care providers quickly with your health information, so they can effectively interact with you, the patient, and your family, in a way that supports your recovery and well-being.  We are working on new tools, including a Patient Portal, to enhance your ability to communicate with your healthcare team and to stay informed about your health.

HHS is planning the largest, most comprehensive redevelopment in our organization’s history

We are also implementing technological safeguards to support your well-being and safety by providing electronic tools, such as the Bedside Medication Verification system, to ensure you are getting the right medication care during your hospital stay.

Over the next 20 years, HHS is planning the largest, most comprehensive redevelopment in our organization’s history. This initiative is called Our Healthy Future. This transformation requires HHS to use digital technology in new ways to connect and collaborate more efficiently with our patients and partners, both within and beyond our hospital walls.

The HHS Digital Health Plan outlines the big steps we need to take – now, next year and over the next five years to make it all possible. It’s a flexible plan that we can add-to and adapt as we make progress, because technology never stands still and neither do we.