Largest cluster of independent Canadian hospitals to collab on unified Expanse platform
Twenty-three hospitals in northeastern Ontario are creating a single electronic health information system to improve the delivery of safe, evidence-based patient-centered care. Three of the hospitals, Sault Area Hospital, North Bay Regional Health Centre, and West Parry Sound Health Centre, went live with the MEDITECH Expanse-based ONE health information system (HIS) in 2019 with the other twenty hospitals now transitioning to the same system.
Built on the success of the three founding hospitals combined with the groundbreaking North Eastern Ontario Network (NEON) collaboration, these twenty-three hospitals have joined ONE Health Information Technology Service, a shared service organization. The transition to a single health information system will help to make delivering quality care more efficient and effective for health providers, as well as support safety improvements in patient care by linking healthcare professionals with up-to-date patient information.
The Expanse-based ONE HIS will be deployed in both acute and outpatient settings at participating hospitals (including Health Sciences North, a leading academic health science center). It is the largest cluster of independent Canadian hospitals to collaborate on a regional, shared MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR). The hospitals cover a geographic area of 400,000 km2 and serve a population of 560,000 people.
“This is not an IT led project, but a clinically driven initiative to develop standardized, evidence-based best practices. All of us share a goal of providing exceptional patient care to our communities,” said Dr. Derek Garniss, ONE Chief Medical Information Officer and emergency physician at Sault Area Hospital. “By implementing Expanse together and establishing a shared health information session, ONE is transforming the way care is delivered to ensure that it is well informed, safe, and seamless throughout the region.”
All ONE member hospitals have worked together throughout the project to standardize more than 450 order sets, nursing and physician documentation templates, drug administration times, medical directives, and dictionaries. Good governance practices were key to ensuring all hospitals were represented at the planning and decision-making tables, regardless of size. While the goal is to establish a system that standardizes care across all entities, flexibility is still necessary to meet the needs of different facility sizes and settings ranging from 20-500 beds.
“This project is part of our ongoing commitment to delivering the highest quality patient care, research, teaching, and learning in our region,” said Mark Hartman, Health Sciences North Senior Vice President of Patient Experience and Digital Transformation and the ONE Health Information Technology Service Chairperson. “Expanse is delivering the technology to take us to the next level of care, and is laying the foundation for future advancements.”
MEDITECH Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Helen Waters believes that collaborations similar to ONE will be crucial to establish cohesive strategies in the face of rising challenges in population health and care equity.
“It is exciting to be part of a transformative change project of this scope,” she said. “We are proud to see that Expanse is helping to advance the care goals for Canadian healthcare organizations of all sizes, as well as supporting a diverse variety of patient populations.”