“ClinicalConnect plays a huge role in running the Trauma Program efficiently. We had a trauma patient admitted who needed to go to the operating room for surgery the next morning. The anesthesiologist asked us to clear her C-Spine before getting to the OR. We were able to do this quickly by logging into ClinicalConnect, obtaining her dictated scan results and clearing her C-Spine. Without ClinicalConnect, this process could have taken much longer and potentially caused delays in the start of her much needed surgery.”
- Pam Foster, Case Manager, Hamilton Health Sciences Trauma Program
“ClinicalConnect is a godsend. In the past we had essentially no access to patient info from other hospitals so it often took many days after admission to get a complete picture of the patient’s past history. This often resulted in repeat tests, miscommunication, and delayed care. Now, with the click of a mouse I can be instantly looking at consult notes, discharge summaries, radiology reports and lab data from previous hospital visits all across the LHINs. Remarkable…”
- Dr. Rob Lloyd, Pediatric Intensivist, Hamilton Health Sciences
“A patient was admitted to a peripheral hospital. A consultant physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare who had seen the patient was called by the referring physician to discuss how long blood thinning therapy should be continued because the patient had presented with a bleed behind her eye resulting in reduced vision. As this is a very unusual complication, I accessed the patient’s CT scan from the peripheral hospital and identified that in fact, a bleed had not occurred. The referring physician was able to contact the internist in the peripheral hospital, explain that their CT scan did not show a bleed and recommended that the patient continue on their anticoagulant therapy. More appropriate therapy to treat the inflammatory reaction that caused the patient’s presentation with eye swelling and reduced vision was prescribed. As a result of the ability to access the patient’s record through Clinical Connect, it is probable that the patient received more appropriate care and, importantly, had her blood thinning therapy continued thus reducing her risk of suffering an avoidable blood clot. When seen in clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare several weeks later, the patient had improved vision as a result of treatment for the inflammatory reaction and remained on her blood thinning therapy.”
- Dr. Mark Crowther, Haematologist and Chief and Medical Director of Laboratory Medicine – HRLMP
“ClinicalConnect helps to determine collateral clinical information for patients with acquired brain injury. This provides a better context for treatment and discharge planning.”
- Mari O’Brien MSW., RSW, Clinical Social Worker, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System
“I check medical records and visits that I wouldn’t have access to in a timely fashion. Patients often arrive in the ED from other sites with incomplete or incorrect information. ClinicalConnect helps to correct this issue.”
- Raj Vadera MD, CCFP (EM) EMD, Deputy Chief of ED, Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine, McMaster University
“Using ClinicalConnect opens the door to one-stop access to patient information. This not only assists in better communication related to accurate patient information but it also saves the clinician time as it can be accessed from one source. For Health Professionals, ClinicalConnect provides seamless access to the patient health record.”
- Renata Vaughan RRT, Senior Registered Respiratory Therapist
“ClinicalConnect has been improved significantly in the latest release. It is markedly faster and provides lab, pharmacy, and transcription data for admissions at multiple sites. It really is becoming an extremely valuable clinical tool and I look forward to further developments in future releases.”
- Dr. Hugh D. Fuller, MB, MSc, FRCPC, FACP, FRCP Lond, Vice-President, Medical and Academic Affairs, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System
“As an orthopedic surgeon at Hamilton Health Sciences I incorporate ClinicalConnect into my daily practice. The ease and efficiency to retrieve patient information in real-time from all hospitals in my referral base of the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Integration Network (HNHB LHIN) ensures that I have the most up to date and accurate patient information such as Labs, Diagnostic Imaging reports and Transcriptions for my patients. This allows me to make the best clinical decisions regarding my patients improving both patient safety and the quality of patient care.”
- Dr. Ivan Wong MD FRCS(C), Dip. Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Sports and Trauma Surgery
“It certainly makes the process of transferring patients more seamless in terms of having quick and reliable access to the patient’s health information. When Niagara patients are repatriated to us from Hamilton for their rehab, we can quickly access their records.”
- Dr. Jack Luce, Chief of Staff for Hotel Dieu Shaver
“I find ClinicalConnect easy to navigate, organize and search my patients according to my needs. It provides a single portal for all information systems. The idea of real-time access and transfer of patient data to and from our referring centers is exciting. Hope we get e-care electronic documentation system on ClinicalConnect.”
- Dr. Sandesh Shivananda, Neonatologist, McMaster University Childrens Hospital
“A 64 year old gentleman was recently brought to the ER at our hospital because of fever and increasing confusion. The family was unable to stay around because of other urgent family matters. The patient was assessed by the ER doctor and an excellent consultant. The patient himself gave no history of cancer or any other active illness. In fact, he had recently had a craniotomy at a different hospital to remove a cerebellar tumour and had just had radiation to metastases in his spine. His primary diagnosis was lung cancer. Unfortunately, none of this was reflected on any test or consultation done at our hospital so it was not on the EMR. The patient was sent home, because the consultant felt he was an otherwise healthy man with a fever of unknown origin. He felt it would be reasonable to observe him at home. When the patient returned to hospital and was readmitted a few days later, I was able to access his entire medical history through ClinicalConnect. That enabled me to better understand his condition and formulate a treatment plan, since I knew that his underlying diagnosis was lung cancer with metastases. It also put the whole family at ease, because when I met them I already knew the whole history of his illness. Interestingly, this is exactly what most families expect and rightfully so. I have to say that ClinicalConnect has already helped me in numerous situations by providing me with key pieces of medical information that strongly impacted on a patient’s care, diagnosis and ultimate outcome. All the while it also gives satisfaction to the family as well as to me, the provider. Let’s keep strengthening this tool!”
- Dr. Frank Fornasier, MD, CCFP, Hospitalist, Joseph Brant Hospital
“ClinicalConnect has become indispensable in getting all relevant information on the many referred-in pathology cases I receive (over 1,200 in 2013). I can’t imagine the pile of paper faxes that would have been needed, not to mention the hassle and delay in getting them. I now encourage the providers sending me the cases to use ClinicalConnect to view the reports online and keep information turnaround time to a minimum, which also reduces the demands on our limited number of clerical staff.”
- Dr. Jean-Claude Cutz, Pathologist, Anatomical Pathology, Hamilton Regional Laboratory Medicine Program
Dr. Irwin Walker is Chief of Hematology at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and recently caught up with staff from the HNHB eHealth Office at HHS, cSWO Delivery Partner for the HNHB LHIN, to share examples of how he and his colleagues are able to better manage hematology patients using ClinicalConnect.
Dr. Walker’s first example relates to accessing radiology reports and images. Now that physicians can obtain radiology reports and an ever-growing number of diagnostic images right from ClinicalConnect and in real-time, Dr. Walker and his colleagues are now more comfortable arranging diagnostic imaging, particularly CT imaging, at hospitals that are convenient for their patients versus asking them to travel to HHS. Previously, if Dr. Walker had a patient’s imaging done at another hospital, it may have been convenient for the patient, but he’d usually be left waiting longer to get patient’s results. So ClinicalConnect is a win-win for everyone in a case like this – patients don’t necessarily have to travel as far, and physicians get results in real-time. Dr. Walker went on to point out that being able to refer patients to their local hospitals for testing, knowing the results will still come back in real-time, better enables HHS’ Diagnostic Imaging Department to focus on performing tests and procedures that must be done at HHS.
A second example relates to Dr. Walker’s ability to access historical data for his patients in ClinicalConnect – data that is critical for hematological assessments. Dr. Walker said he “recently was referred a patient with neutropenia and using ClinicalConnect, was able to quickly obtain their white blood cell count and compare the values over time, which is critical to effectively manage this condition.” This type of health information was available to Dr. Walker thanks to last year’s integration of data from the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS).
In addition to these examples, Dr. Walker is seeing that ClinicalConnect really is becoming part of physicians and clinicians’ routines throughout South West Ontario. He’s seen first-hand that before calling the Juravinski Cancer Centre, clinicians are checking ClinicalConnect for information on a patient they’re treating so when they do call, often from the ER in the middle of the night, they’re usually already well-versed with the patients’ previous treatments and therefore use time spent on the phone more efficiently. They don’t have to ask all the background questions because they know the answers from what they’ve obtained in ClinicalConnect.
Finally, Dr. Walker has seen that even colleagues with varying comfort levels with technology have without exception taken to using ClinicalConnect, and find it as intuitive and indispensable as he does. Furthermore, he says residents rotating through Hematology are very comfortable with ClinicalConnect and along with HHS’ hospital information system, use it as their go-to place for clinical information for patients in their care.
Our conversation with Dr. Walker ended with him stating that “ClinicalConnect is a hugely valuable complement to Hamilton Health Sciences’ information technology resources.” Hard to beat that!