Three Eastern Ontario hospitals announce successful launch of ‘Epic’ health information system

Deep River & District Hospital (DRDH), Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) and Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) are pleased to announce the successful launch of the Epic digital health information system at all three hospitals on November 5, 2022.

“Epic has ushered in a new era in health care at our hospitals, both for patients and their care providers,” said KDH CEO, Frank J. Vassallo. “The credit for the successful launch goes to our dedicated care teams at each of our hospitals, who spent many months training and preparing to go-live.”

“We also want to thank the patients and families in our communities for their patience and understanding as our teams adapt to the new system,” added Cholly Boland, WMDH’s CEO, noting that the three hospitals reduced some services over the first few weeks following the launch to ensure that staff had time to care for each patient while learning to use the new system. Each hospital was focused on reducing disruptions for patients and making the transition as seamless as possible.

“Thanks to the support received in our hospitals’ early weeks with Epic from The Ottawa Hospital and our partner hospitals across the region, we were able to work together and ensure a smooth and successful transition,” said DRDH CEO Janna Hotson. “Our sites were ready and prepared to resolve issues as they arose in those first few days with the new system. Now that we are more than a month in, we are looking at continuing to improve the system at each of our hospitals.”

A command center providing 24-hour support for any Epic issues was established at all three sites for a period of time following the launch; On an ongoing basis, ‘credentialed trainers’ at each hospital continue to provide daytime and after-hours support for the care teams when issues arise. Additionally, all three hospitals report that their staff and physicians are helping and supporting each other.

A 24-hour command center was established at each site to oversee the launch. On an ongoing basis, Epic experts continue to provide ongoing support for the care teams when issues arise. All three hospitals have also reported that their staff and physicians are helping and supporting each other.

“Epic has challenged the teams to work differently and adapt to new workflows,” said Jennifer Ellis, KDH’s VP Nursing/Clinical Services. “The teams have done a remarkable job adjusting and, most importantly, teaching and bringing each other along. It’s been a very successful start and, like the rest of my team, I’m excited to see what’s next!”

Here is a recap of the benefits of Epic for patients and providers:

  • Epic uses the latest technology to securely store, organize, and access patient records while maintaining patient privacy, providing a comprehensive digital health record for every patient.
  • Epic replaces dozens of electronic and paper-based systems, making every patient’s medical information readily available to their providers in one secure place online.
  • Epic gives patients better access to their own health information through the MyChart portal. Anywhere, anytime, MyChart subscribers can see their medical history, diagnostic test results, upcoming appointments, lists of allergies and medications, and even educational materials.
  • Epic improves patient safety by reducing errors.
  • Epic is proven to reduce wait times, length of hospital stay, and admissions.

By implementing Epic, DRDH, KDH, and WDMH have become part of a fully integrated network of nine hospitals in the Ottawa region using the state of the art health information system. This means that when a patient is transferred between hospitals, critical information will be available immediately to their new healthcare team and the patient will not have to repeat their medical history over and over. The result is more seamless care.

For more information about Epic and how to register for MyChart, please visit your local hospital’s website.

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