Left to right: Dr. Drew Digney, Dr. Eric Grafstein, Elizabeth Stanger, Suzanne Fox, Dr. Mary-Lyn Fyfe, Amy Williams, Barb Cross, Damian Lange, Sarah Crawford.  

IHealth team shares lessons learned from Nanaimo Regional General Hospital

Ultimately, it’s not about the clinical information system – it’s about making patients the “north star” on the journey to providing the highest quality care possible, said Dr. Mary-Lyn Fyfe, the Chief Medical Information Officer, IHealth.

Mary-Lyn was one of several members of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s IHealth team who paid a visit to Lions Gate Hospital (LGH) on August 24 for coffee and conversations with dozens of VCH-Coastal physicians and staff.

The event was an opportunity to gain insights into the potential changes and benefits of going live with a new clinical information system and get advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

“We want you to know it’s going to be hard,” said Suzanne Fox, Executive Director, IHealth and Portfolio 2, Island Health. “But we’ve been through it and we’re still here because we know we’re doing the right thing – don’t let that vision go.”

The IHealth team described transitioning to a shared electronic health record as the greatest change in health care we will ever experience.

But Dr. Drew Digney, Executive Medical Director, Portfolio 2, Island Health, said he wouldn’t hesitate do it again. To prepare for the transition, Drew said it’s important to embrace the coming change because the new system may not be perfect, but it will significantly improve patient safety and quality of care.

“Everyone is going to learn to ski, so you can stay at the top of the mountain and complain about the cold or learn to do it and go down the hill,” Drew said.

The event kicked off a partnership between VCH-Coastal and the team that led the implementation of a redesigned and upgraded Cerner clinical information system at Nanaimo in 2015.

“We’re very excited that you’re on the same journey as well,” said Mary-Lyn. “We will walk this with you – whatever you need.”

Participants in an information session at the CST Hub at LGH ranged from nurses to medical imaging technicians. Written feedback described the session as “very informative,” to “reassuring,” and “exciting.” Many appreciated hearing directly from physicians and clinicians about what helped them succeed through the transition and beyond.

Who’s who in the above photo (L-R):

  • Dr. Drew Digney, Executive Medical Director, Portfolio 2
  • Dr. Eric Grafstein, Chief Medical Information Officer, VCH and PHC
  • Elizabeth Stanger, Executive Director, Clinical and Systems Transformation Site Implementation, VCH Coastal
  • Suzanne Fox, Executive Director, IHealth and Portfolio 2 Island Health
  • Dr. Mary Lyn Fyfe, Chief Medical Information Officer, IHealth
  • Amy Williams, Manager, Clinical Improvements & Infomatics, Island Health
  • Barb Cross, Director, Learning and Knowledge Translation – Clinician
  • Damian Lange, Director, NRGH Clinical Operations
  • Sarah Crawford–Bohl, Director, Change, Clinical Engagement, Readiness, IHealth

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