As IHealth expands use of the electronic health record (EHR) across Island Health sites and services, attention is now focused on looking at clinical workflows that guide the best quality care journey for patients and care providers.
Dr. Regina Renner, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, was one of the physicians involved in a workflow review session focused on surgical services on May 27. As IHealth Physician Lead for her specialty, she appreciated the opportunity to review surgical workflows from the varied perspectives of the interdisciplinary team – all together.
“I’m very proud of where we’ve gotten, and I see our role as being involved in this next step twofold: A, to make sure that other sites have it easier to go live, and B, that we can use our knowledge about how the electronic program works to make these adjustments that are needed,” she said.
Dr. Renner stressed how important it is for subject matter experts from across the region to get involved in workflow validation, and to share their knowledge and experience. In total, 100 staff attended the surgical services workflow validation session (70 in person and 30 on Zoom).
“I think it was a really nice pace, broken down into the individual pieces of the workflow, and then having feedback,” she said. “I was really happy to have a lot of nurses engaged in the feedback as well. I think what we wanted to achieve was for the physicians to hear what the nurses were worried about and hopefully for the nurses to hear what the physicians worry about, and have that become quite integrated.”
These regional, interdisciplinary sessions are a critical step in the process leading up to electronic ordering, which will go live at South Island tertiary sites early next year, followed by other sites across the Island. The sessions bring together medical staff, nursing and allied health staff, pharmacists, medical imaging and laboratory technicians, clinical and medical informatics and nursing unit assistants, to ensure that electronic workflows in development:
- align with clinical best practices;
- accurately reflect how patients flow through the care system and how professionals from different health care disciplines and at different sites interact with the health care journey;
- increase standardization and consistency across sites and services; and
- support the region-wide transition from paper processes to full use of the EHR resulting in the best possible performance of everyone involved in caring for a patient.
Preparation underway for upcoming workflow validation sessions
In preparation for nearly 40 workflow validation sessions in June and July, the IHealth team and project partners met to reflect on the positive, informative and collegial nature of the surgical services session in Nanaimo, and to develop plans to improve upcoming sessions based on participant feedback.
“What really stood out for me was the participation from everybody who came from across the Island to share their experiences, and to share their workflows at their site,” said Heather Rocheleau, Director, Clinical Informatics, Physician Strategy. “We have lots of actions and next steps from this session, but I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed.”