Improving the patient experience: Electronic medical records (EMR) coming to HHS in June
HAMILTON, ON – On Saturday, June 4, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) will move to a modern and fully electronic hospital information system called Epic.
“The launch of Epic is the largest patient safety and quality initiative in our history. It will greatly improve the experience for patients, staff and physicians, and most importantly, enable us to deliver care more safely,” says Rob MacIsaac, president & CEO of HHS. “We are proud of the work that has taken place to ensure HHS remains at the forefront of leading academic, teaching and research hospitals in Canada.”
Epic will replace dozens of electronic and paper systems and eliminate time that hospital staff and physicians spend looking for information. For the first time, every patient’s medical information will be available in one place.
Patients will no longer need to repeat their health history each time they meet with someone at HHS or visit an HHS clinic for the first time. Their information will be documented in a new electronic medical record (EMR) at their first interaction and updated during the course of their care journey. Every member of the patient’s care team will have access to the same information at their fingertips so that critical care decisions can be made safely.
HHS staff and physicians have been planning and preparing for Epic for more than two years.
“While the pandemic added a layer of complexity, it also highlighted that improvements to patient safety can’t take a back seat,” says Dr. Barry Lumb, executive lead, Epic implementation. “Our patients should be confident in the care that they receive at our hospital.”
HHS is one of the busiest hospitals in Ontario. Every day our staff and physicians provide care to more than 1900 patients needing inpatient and emergency services, and another 2400 patients through in-person and virtual clinic visits.
Patients will also have easy access to their EMR using MyChart. MyChart is a free, secure, online tool that gives patients easy access to their HHS health record anytime, from anywhere. Patients will be able to view test results, manage their personal health information, and attend video visits.
“It’s reassuring to know that I will no longer have to chase my doctors and specialists to get test results and appointments,” says Barb Dolanjski, who has been a patient in Hamilton hospitals for over 20 years. “Overall I feel like [MyChart] will give me a sense of empowerment.”
MyChart will be accessible through a website link, or as an app that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. For more information on how to access MyChart, please visit hamiltonhealthsciences.ca/MyChart.
“In addition to the patient benefits, Epic will improve our organization’s ability to analyze health data,” says Dave McCaig, executive vice president, corporate affairs and CFO. “The system has powerful reporting tools that will help leaders use data to make faster and better decisions about patient care, staff workload, service and safety improvements, and more so that we can effectively meet the health needs of our region for decades to come.”
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More about Epic and MyChart at HHS