You asked, we answered: Why Epic?
Why Join the Atlas Alliance?
Renfrew Victoria Hospital has had a hospital information system that served basic functions to support patient care for several years. With the continued movement to integrated systems and sharing of patient information to support continuity of care, RVH senior management explored various enhancements and/or alternatives to its current system. Through programs, RVH has also been strengthening the relationships with its partners and building collaborative networks across the continuum of care. There are numerous examples of this: being a leader in health links; our role in leading and participating in regional programs and services; the use of OTN to support care closer to home; our ambulatory clinics; participation in CNER and other shared information systems such as NEODIN, and more.
“Our primary referral patterns are to The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) and to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI). Given the flow of patients and the manner in which we deliver care, from nephrology, satellite oncology, radiology, echocardiology, surgery, to name just a few clinical areas, there were huge risks for our patients and hospitals if we did not remain in sync with TOH and UOHI” noted Randy Penney, RVH CEO.
The opportunity to share a patient-centred electronic health record and therefore ease the flow of information related to patient health and care not only means safer, better and more seamless care for the patients, but also ensures providers have the necessary information in a timely manner, and tests and procedures do not need to be duplicated.
“Joining the Atlas Alliance and implementing Epic is all about care and doing what is right for our patients, staff and physicians,” said Randy. “It will lead to enhanced standardization and more leading practices for Renfrew and Barry’s Bay. The need to drive standardization is essential for the future. Beyond clinical benefits, the decisions of TOH and UOHI provide enormous clarity for our organizations and, by extension, cost avoidance for our hospital trying to determine the most appropriate electronic health record system”.
What is the Atlas Alliance?
The Atlas Alliance is made up of five hospitals: The Ottawa Hospital, Hawkesbury and District General Hospital, Renfrew Victoria Hospital, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, as well as the Ottawa Hospital Academic Family Health Team.
According to Chris Ferguson, RVH VP of Patient Care Services, “The Atlas Alliance undertook a rigorous and stringent Request for Proposal and evaluation process to choose the best system for the hospitals in the Alliance. Staff and physicians from RVH and SFMH were involved in the evaluation and vendor demonstrations that resulted in the decision that Epic was the best system, not only for patients, but also for staff and physicians. The system is intuitive and will significantly enhance patient safety and improve our use of best practices for all patients”.
“Epic is one of the leading providers of electronic health record systems in the world, used by many of the top-performing hospitals. By ourselves, we could not afford such a comprehensive and robust system. However, in partnership with the Atlas Alliance members, we can bring a world class system to RVH and SFMH,” said Tim Sonnenburg, RVH VP of Finance.
In alignment with the RVH vision, mission and values and our strategic plan, as well as what is best for our patients, staff and physicians, the decision seemed to be an easy one. “The Ottawa Hospital has made a very significant decision that will change the way care is delivered in this region and we (RVH/SFMH) are so fortunate to be a true partner in this investment." – Randy Penney.
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