eCommunityNEXT: Proceeding with the NEXT phase of the project!

The eCommunityNEXT Project has much to celebrate!  On February 5th the project achieved its first year anniversary, and on February 16th received Board approval to proceed to phase two!  Phase two is where the “rubber hits the road”, involving the implementation of all the design, development and testing work that our integrated project team and Subject Matter Experts have been working on so diligently over the last year.

Accomplishments to date

But success isn’t waiting for the implementation phase, as the project has already realized a number of benefits, including:

  • Implementation of the new data warehouse and the PARIS Volume Cube, dashboards and reports for cross program and home health
  • Design and development of the new Clinical Care Plan, nearing completion
  • Development of a new Education and Sustainment Model, with multiple streams to accommodate the learning needs of our clinical staff
  • Installation of the necessary hardware to support PARIS v6
  • Installation and testing of multiple versions of PARIS (now on version 6.1.16!)
  • Completion of the design for the new assessments, currently in build and test
  • Beginning the evaluation of new features of PARIS, such as ePrescribing

These achievements are the result of the involvement of 80 Subject Matter Experts from across the Community, working with our project team to design a more integrated, holistic view of the client’s care journey.  The work the team is undertaking is being recognized by senior leaders as a key enabling strategy in support of VCH’s strategic initiatives and the future realization of an integrated patient record across the continuum.  As Mary Ackenhusen, President and Chief Executive Officer, notes:

“Once implemented, we will have a centralized view of the care being provided to the client, a foundational piece to our vision of a single patient health record across our acute, community and primary care sites.”

As we move into the next phase of the project, some phase one work will be ongoing, as the team continues to implement new management reports and dashboards for Public Health, Mental Health and Substance Use, and other programs.

Phase two highlights

Phase two is targeted to begin with the training and education of our coaches, educators and staff in March 2016.  Implementation will be approached in stages, starting in June 2016 with the core PARIS v6 upgrade, the new Public Health Maternal Newborn Assessment, the Mental Health & Substance Use Initial Assessment and the Home Health Interdisciplinary Assessment.  In late October 2016 through March 2017, implementation of our new Clinical Care Plan, Staff Diary, new reports, and other new features of PARIS v6 for a subset of the community will follow, and then from April to July 2017 the project will culminate with the completion of management reports and dashboards to support the Clinical Care Plan and new assessments.

The high level schedule is:

  • Training and Education for coaches, educators and staff: beginning March 2016
  • Implementation of the core PARIS v6 upgrade and new assessments: June 2016
  • Implementation of the Clinical Care Plan, Staff Diary, new reports, and other new features of PARIS v6: late October 2016 through March 2017
  • Implementation of Management Reports and Dashboards to support the Clinical Care Plan and new assessments: April to July 2017

What can you look forward to?

The new PARIS v6 will bring some new features and improvements, including:

  • A new look and feel, with improved navigation and no more confusing icons
  • Standardized and streamlined assessments, care planning processes and documentation practices across the region to maximize productivity and provide a longitudinal view of a client’s health history for better care decisions
  • Retirement of a number of assessments through standardization
  • Improved productivity with less duplication of information, simplified workflows with fewer and shorter forms to complete
  • Easier navigation and increased visibility of a client’s information among health care providers and across program areas
  • Improved client safety and quality of care through new visual designs and alerts, and easier access to information to support clinicians
  • A reduction in the number of management reports through the (now live) PARIS Volume Cube and dashboards, providing flexible environments where managers can easily choose their own reporting parameters

What’s NOT changing? 

There will be several improvements with PARIS v6 but it’s important to note that a number of things will not change.  Your existing picklist values, casenotes types and formats, team structure, referral types and reasons, and medication documentation will all remain the same.

In summary

We would not be this far without the excellent collaboration and partnership between VCH clinical operations, Transformation office, IMITS, Decision Support, our Executive and Project Sponsors, project team members and our vendor Civica.  As highlighted by Diane Bissenden, Director, Population & Family Health, Richmond, and eCommunityNEXT Project Sponsor:

“The Board’s approval of the next phase of the eCommunityNEXT Project is wonderful news, and truly a reflection of the leadership, effort, alignment, focus and vision for this initiative.”  

There is still a lot of work to do but we are confident in our team’s ability to achieve our upcoming objectives. We are very excited about the future and we welcome your thoughts, questions and concerns.  Further information can be found on our eCommunityNEXT Project website, and you can also contact the project team by email at

A vision of an integrated system across the region

The shift to providing enhanced Primary and Community Care and improving services delivered in the rural and remote communities will be supported by standardizing workflow and practice across acute, ambulatory, community and primary care teams.

The eCommunityNEXT Project is the first step in the eCommunity strategic roadmap and has been identified as a key enabling strategy in support of the VCH True North goals, with a vision of an integrated, interdisciplinary system of acute, primary and community care services across the region.