HHS patient advisor looking forward to new hospital information system
Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is taking the next step toward digital transformation by renewing its hospital information system (HIS). Following an extensive, 18-month consultation and assessment process involving hundreds of hospital staff, physicians, patients, and community partners, HHS has chosen to implement a platform called Epic throughout the organization to enable more integrated, patient-centered health care.
One of our HHS patient advisors, Peter Tracz, shares insight about what the new HIS could mean to patients.
How will a more modern digital platform like Epic create a better patient experience?
I imagine a digital platform like Epic will not only better integrate internal hospital information, but it will also enable patients like myself to have easier and secure access to medical history. It might also permit secure digital communication with healthcare providers at Hamilton Health Sciences.
What improvements to the patient experience do you expect?
I see this as an opportunity to routinely open-up clinical notes to patients, helping them better understand what has been discussed during their visits. It might also permit access to medical test results and imaging. This will improve how patients prepare for a visit and support better discussion with healthcare providers.
I also imagine that my latest medications and a list of my vaccinations can be provided. I foresee online secure messaging, appointment booking and reminders, and even appointment downloads to my calendar app. In short, patients will get to use the technology in their pocket or on their desk to help manage their medical information and communication with HHS.
What one thing about Epic gets you most excited?
Epic represents a technological leap forward for both hospital staff and patients. New systems often represent a productivity improvement. For me as a patient, perhaps my personal healthcare journey will change from a records patchwork of apps and paper notes to organized access through a new hospital portal.
Why is it important for our hospital to make this change now?
As technology advances, aging systems need to be replaced. To borrow from the late futurist Alvin Toffler, the “Future Shock” we are now experiencing under the pandemic has forced the future to move towards us in an unexpected and challenging revolution in the way we do things.
The convenience of smartphones and personal computers has become necessity. It only makes sense that the information systems at Hamilton Health Sciences accelerate with changes to better accommodate record-keeping and sharing. Epic represents a modern system with enhanced capabilities that will help staff and patients better manage healthcare.
Peter became a patient advisor in August 2017. He is a retired, senior-level financial services professional with a background in administration, training, document and advertising development, customer service, and project management. He has been a member of various committees at HHS, including the MyChart Implementation Working Group, the SWO Patient Portal Management and Steering Committee, the Diabetes Care & Research Practice Council, the Patient Experience Steering Committee, the Vanessa’s Law Implementation Working Group, the Service Resumption Post COVID Advisory Task Group, the Family Presence During COVID implementation working group, the Quality of Care Committee and the Quality & Patient Safety Steering Team.