London’s largest health network has launched a new initiative that would give a patient’s health information to staff at their long-term care (LTC) homes within a half-hour of their discharge from the hospital.
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) said it’s one of the first hospitals in the province to implement the Ontario eHub Health Information Exchange. Its initial phase will focus on patients transitioning from acute hospital care to LTC.
LHSC is working with 29 LTC providers across southwestern Ontario to share medication, health history, allergies and care plans through different electronic health record systems.
“This is a huge difference where in the past LTC staff would often have to call us for more information about a patient because they couldn’t access their information,” said Jackie Schleifer Taylor, the hospital’s president and CEO.
“This means that as soon as they get to their new home, that care team is ready to support them in the ways they need,” she added.
eHub enables coordination among care teams
Previous barriers to information were a result of organizations using different record systems, and in some cases, patients and families were responsible for providing their own health information to facilities.
“By enabling seamless coordination of care and information, patients and their loved ones will no longer be responsible for relaying their medical history to health care professionals as they transition to long-term care,” said Andrew Mes, Digital Health Executive and Corporate Information Officer at LHSC.
“We are using the latest technology to streamline the exchange of health information with our long-term care partners.”
The organization needs to redesign care through digital transformation, Schleifer Taylor said about the eHub, adding that it’s part of LHSC’s 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.
“We really want to be sure that we’re building networks that will grow the health care teams that we need, reaching beyond the walls of LHSC to make sure that primary and community care partners are part of the plan,” she said.
“We have a clear vision for the future, which includes collaborating with system partners, fostering a culture of innovation and investing in technology to ehnahnce the patient experience.”
The Ontario eHub system is still in its early stages but later this year, LTC homes will also be able to use the eHub to share resident health information with LHSC. Future phases will allow hospital sites to exchange patient information with one another.