January 20th, 2016

Electronic health record now available for 3.6 million south west Ontario residents

Over 37,000 health care professionals securely access electronic patient information

LONDON, Ontario (January 20, 2016) – Over 37,000 doctors, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals across south west Ontario (SWO) are now able to securely access electronic patient information from the region’s 67 hospitals, four Community Care Access Centres (CCACs), four regional cancer programs and provincial clinical systems for laboratory tests and results, and diagnostic imaging via the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnectTM.

For the first time, patient health information from across the continuum of care can be accessed by authorized health care professionals to gather essential patient data in seconds from those organizations using ehealth technology. The implementation of an integrated electronic health record (EHR) has been achieved in south west Ontario – from Windsor to Tobermory to Guelph and through Niagara Falls. 

The connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program, funded by eHealth Ontario, achieved a major milestone in July of 2015, when the final acute care hospital sites were successfully integrated with the regional clinical viewer. ClinicalConnect is a secure, web-based portal that provides authorized physicians and health care professionals with real-time access to their patients’ EHRs. eHealth Ontario and the cSWO Program, in partnership with Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and health service providers in south west Ontario, are enabling health care systems to share patient information across the sector and the province.

“The cSWO Program is providing clinicians with timely access to hospital clinical records throughout south west Ontario,” said Dr. James MacLean, cSWO Program clinical advisor. “This has enabled health care providers across the continuum of care to make more informed decisions resulting in better patient outcomes.” 

Health and Long-Term Care Minister Eric Hoskins stated, “This is a significant milestone. Enabling clinicians and health care professionals to access patients' information, such as lab results, diagnostic images and hospital reports in a timely way is very important in providing high-quality patient care and supports improved access to care and our government's Patients First Action Plan."

South west Ontario clinicians and health care professionals using the integrated EHR work across the continuum of care, including at 69 hospital sites (acute and non-acute, 100 per cent), four CCACs (100 per cent), 1,633 primary care organizations, 218 community services organizations, and four public health units, which are all consuming data through ClinicalConnect.

Health care organizations must handle a patient's personal health in strict confidence and in accordance with Ontario’s health privacy law (Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004). Patient information is used only as authorized or required by law.

The cSWO Program has implemented a benefits realization program to understand how the integrated EHR further enables health care professionals to provide quality care to their patients and increase their efficiency by eliminating the need to manage paper-based records, reducing of duplicate tests and focuses health care delivery.

About Connecting South West Ontario Program

Connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) is a regional integration program, funded by eHealth Ontario. It was developed in partnership with the four Local Health Integration Networks of south west Ontario and local health service providers. The cSWO Program and its delivery partners have implemented an integrated EHR that makes an individual’s health information from across the continuum of care available in a timely and secure fashion at any point in care. Health Information Technology Services (HITS), a division of Hamilton Health Sciences, is the Solution Provider for ClinicalConnect.

About eHealth Ontario

eHealth Ontario is a Crown agency that plays the leading role in harnessing technology and innovation to improve patient care, safety and access in support of the government’s health strategy. The agency is responsible for implementing the government’s ehealth agenda and creating electronic health records for Ontarians.

Learn more:

For more information:

Toni Adey
Director, cSWO Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
cSWO Program
519-630-5735
toni.adey@lhsc.on.ca

Patricia Trott
Director, Stakeholder Relations and Communications
eHealth Ontario
416-946-6825
patricia.trott@ehealthontario.on.ca

Attachments available on cSWO Program website: