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IHealth for Staff

What's Changing

The fully integrated Electronic Health Record (EHR) is being introduced in a phased approach. It incorporates applications such as Cerner PowerChart, FirstNet, PharmaNet, SurgiNet and more.  Health professionals across Island Health will adopt common clinical and process standards (including workflows, order sets, clinical guidelines and integrated plans of care).

When computerized provider order entry (CPOE) is activated in your area, medication orders and other instructions will be entered directly into the EHR clinical information system and will immediately become part of the patient’s record.

Health professionals in acute care facilities and long term care homes will use a fully electronic “closed loop medication administration” process. This will help improve patient safety by making sure each medication is prescribed and given to the right patient, in the right dose, at the right time, with the right documentation.

Clinical Documentation

Patient records will be updated and shared electronically via a shared clinical documentation (Clin Doc) system. Advanced Clin Doc functionality has been activated at our largest acute care hospitals: Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, as well as at some smaller sites.

Training and Support

As EHR modules go live in different locations, the IHealth project team provides comprehensive training in advance. During the “go-live” periods, we also provide dedicated support, including:

  • drop-in training
  • elbow-to-elbow support in the workplace
  • 24/7 phone support

Training and support resources can be found both on this website, and on the Island Health Intranet.

What this means for health professionals

  • Less unnecessary variation in care – consistent clinical practices across the Island Health region.
  • An electronic patient chart – no more searching for or waiting for the chart, writing orders on paper, or deciphering handwriting.
  • Easy-to-access information about the patient’s condition, allergies, medications and previous medical history.

Changes in Clinical Practice

Many health care providers are experiencing changes in their practice related to EHR functionality, new or improved devices and technology, and where and how they document in a digital or paper-light world. There may also be unanticipated changes in individual practice, as the EHR allows clinicians to access evidence-based, current and new practice standards that everyone is expected to follow.

The biggest change is for staff who provide direct care in clinical areas, and who currently document patient information electronically or on paper. For these staff, IHealth means a fundamental change in practice, workflow, clinical decision support, documentation, and medication management.

Initially things will be slower. Learning and implementing new tools and workflow can be time consuming and frustrating. There are things that staff and medical providers can do now, however, to meet current practice standards (legislated, regulatory and Island Health), and to be prepared when the EHR and associated devices are activated.