Have you ever been to West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni? They have this amazing indoor courtyard inside the entrance. It was there, on the afternoon of March 6th that I realized the LEWAs were complete. Since January 12, members of the IHealth team had travelled over 3000 km to a dozen hospitals and health care facilities across Island Health, holding over 70 individual meetings with physicians, midwives and nurse practitioners from across the region. It was a privilege to be able to meet and speak with so many amazing health care providers.
You may be wondering… what were the LEWAs? Short for Local Electronic health record (EHR) Workflow Alignment sessions, LEWAs were an opportunity for the IHealth team to speak with individual providers about how they work in their current practice and to align that practice with the new processes and functionalities within the EHR. Through these conversations we heard many of their stories and were reminded that whether entering the patient care center in Victoria or walking into the new health center in Alert Bay, each location in Island Health is unique in some way.
One of the recurring themes we heard was the challenge of obtaining information about patients when they visit other facilities. With a mix of electronic and paper-based patient charts and records, often it is challenging to get the full patient story and to make good clinical decisions. LEWA attendees were very pleased to hear that IHealth will give them the ability to both see and co-create a patient’s one record from anywhere in Island Health, eliminating the current problem.
Although there are many differences in practice settings across Island Health, physicians want to be able to deliver the most up to date and best care they can irrespective of location. With IHealth, the distance between physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives and other providers becomes smaller with the ability to connect virtually and communication amongst the care team vastly improves.