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Finally, a replacement for the fax in medical care


Finally, a replacement for the fax in medical care

A perplexing feature of healthcare from a patient perspective is the number of times one is asked the same questions and the fact that for all the technology that is available in-patient care, the system seems to continue to rely on the fax machine, which has all but disappeared from modern businesses.

Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS)thinks it has finally settled on a software platform will meet the requirements of today’s healthcare sector and replace many current systems, some of which are still paper-based.

After an extensive 18-month consultation and assessment process, the software that was chosen is called Epic, a leading provider of health information technology. With this platform, HHS hopes it will be able to make significant advancements in how it delivers health care – with better data, increased efficiency, and fewer clinical errors. It is the largest investment in IT infrastructure in HHS’s history.

All visits, notes, results, medications, etc., will be available no matter where the patient is being seen – in a clinic, the emergency department, on a ward, or in diagnostic imaging, for example. The patient will not have to recite their story over and over again. Duplication and errors will be reduced.

The system is expected to also enable patients  to have easier and secure access to their own medical history. It might also permit secure digital communication between the patient and healthcare providers at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Rob Lloyd, HHS chief Medical Information Officer said, We finally have the opportunity to leap-frog ourselves into the 21st century. When you speak to anyone who has gone to an electronic system, they will never go back to paper. All of the patient’s information is in one place – and the main reason for upgrading our system is to improve the quality of care for our patients.”

The system can assist in medical research through anonymous data mining says Barry Lamb the executive lead of the project. “There are over 60 million anonymized patients as part of the data bank in Epic. Cosmos is a data mining module to support research across multiple Epic sites. Through Epic’s Cosmos module, healthcare professionals can search the anonymous patient data to find patterns. It has been extremely valuable in the COVID pandemic to allow rapid research initiatives in other organizations. Lessons learned will help facilitate research of all kinds going forward.”

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