News Stories

E-Health steering committee recruiting members

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 -- By John Driscoll

The E-Health leader in the Central East LHIN is looking for people willing to accept the challenge of helping to create a LHIN-wide e-health system.

"We are looking for users of e-health technology to serve on the e-health steering committee but not necessarily for their expertise in the technology itself," says Lewis Hooper, LHIN lead for e-health.

"We want to know how they do things and how the technology can help them," says Hooper. Hospitals and the Central East Community Care Access Centre are further advanced in the use of e-health technology than most community agencies, he says.

"The committee gives us a place where we can understand what their needs are," Hooper says. "The LHINs are all about integration and community agencies are a very important part of that. We want to get community agencies more engaged in this process.

"E-Health is one of the key enablers identified in the Central East LHIN’s Integrated Health Service Plan (IHSP) that cut across priorities for change to allow for better access to services, improved patient outcomes and more efficient use of existing resources.

Some of the agencies are not very well modernized and "these are the ones we need to think about," Hooper says. "They need to be brought up to speed.

"At the same time, the committee will also want to "leverage what we’ve got" with the CCAC and hospitals, he says.

"We will be looking at the system as a whole and how we can help move information more smoothly across that system," Hooper says. "We want to make it simpler for information to flow.

"In implementing the IHSP, several projects are in the early implementation or planning stages, he says. One project is to create an e-referral service or electronic health record. Another already under way is to provide e-learning for providers so that they can properly use the technology. Creating a secure
e-mail system is a third project.

The electronic health record and e-mail system are subject to strict privacy and confidentiality, he says.

"The big driver is clinical documentation and a common e-health record across the LHIN," Hooper says. "That process is starting now and our committee will hit the ground running.

"If a person has all of his or her medical information available to anyone they chose to have it, this benefits both the person and the health care provider, he points out. "Right now a whole lot of processes are involved in moving information from one service to another.

"Hooper describes e-health as an "enabler for front-line workers. It is a tool or a service to assist them."

Anyone interested in applying for membership on the e-Health steering committee can complete an Expression of Interest form available on the Central East LHIN website by March 30.