Prepare to go paperless at CHEO

The plan to go paperless with patient files is underway at CHEO.

That’s fantastic news for Sandra and Ross Wallace of Carp, and their daughter Camryn, 8.

An electronic record means “less time missed at school for Camryn in her Grade 2 class, and a little less stress for mom and dad,” said Sandra Wallace.

Parents will eventually be able to co-ordinate appointments at their convenience online, and obtain test results “without making the trek into CHEO.”

It’s a place the family knows well.

Doctors discovered a congenital heart defect when Wallace was about 18 weeks pregnant.

Camryn was then diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth.

After three surgeries, including a heart operation at six-months-old, Camryn currently visits more than a handful of outpatient clinics.

“Quite often, we’re here once a month, at least, just depending on how things are going,” said Wallace.

With multiple appointments at different clinics, files have to be transferred.

Going from one doctor to the next, “they’ll say ‘when was Camryn’s last hearing test?’, for example, and I’ll be like, “I have so many things to remember,’ so we’ve flipped through charts and flipped through charts looking for test results, so I’m very excited to just be able to sit there and just have it pop up on the screen and have the information right there at our fingertips,” said Wallace.

CHEO has allotted $7.7 million to cover the cost of going digital — up to $2.8 million of which is coming from the federally funded Canada Health Infoway.

CHEO is going through its first wave of the rollout at labs and a group of ambulatory care clinics.

Another 72 clinics will be added next year.

The emergency department, pharmacy and in-patient units are slated to be phased in over another three years.

The entire hospital will use the integrated system for electronic patient files.

“We will connect parents and every health professional involved in a child’s care to the information they need, at their fingertips,” said CHEO president and CEO Alex Munter.

Federal health minister Rona Ambrose was on hand for the announcement.

“Digital health solutions help drive productivity, collaboration, and access, which ultimately makes our system much more efficient,” said Ambrose.

Just a few years ago, there were “mountains” of paper nationally, said Canada Health Infoway CEO Richard Alvarez, adding nearly 85% are digitized.

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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