Dr. Doug Cochrane, provincial patient safety and quality officer for British Columbia and chair of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council, will lead a review of the functioning of IHealth, the new electronic health record system at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.
The Ministry of Health and Island Health agreed jointly to take this proactive step to conduct a third-party review following a July 20, 2016, meeting between Health Minister Terry Lake, Island Health CEO Brendan Carr and a number of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital physicians and staff, as well as representatives of the ministry.
“All sides agree that electronic health records are a vital part of a modern patient-centred health-care system,” said Lake. “This review is to acknowledge and address the concerns that have been raised, with the goal of ensuring safe, quality care for patients."
The review will assess and make recommendations to address any workflow and patient-care quality concerns identified. It will also assess the implementation of IHealth at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Oceanside Health Centre and Dufferin Place and make recommendations on how to improve the implementation of electronic health records at other Island Health sites.
The review may include recommendations for immediate, short-term and long-term actions and strategies. It is expected to be substantially complete by Sept. 30, 2016.
“We undertook this massive change in clinical practice understanding it would take significant ongoing efforts to improve and stabilize the system,” said Island Health CEO Dr. Brendan Carr. “We remain committed to ensuring electronic health records support the highest-quality and safest patient care possible.”
Island Health began implementation of IHealth at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Oceanside Health Centre and Dufferin Place in March. IHealth is a recording and reporting tool, enabling electronic health documentation, communication, scheduling, ordering and decision-making.
Electronic health records are being implemented worldwide, replacing paper-based systems. IHealth is intended to enhance both the quality and safety of care offered at Island Health, as care providers are able to quickly access patients’ complete health and medication history to assist in making care decisions.
Dr. Cochrane is a practising physician and has extensive experience in patient safety, health-care quality and risk management. The review will provide recommendations on the collaborative work required to ensure an effective electronic health records system.
Dr. Cochrane has previously led reviews and provided recommendations on:
- surgical-site infection control at Surrey Memorial Hospital in 2005;
- the quality of diagnostic imaging, and the credentialing of radiologists in 2011-12;
- Fraser Health’s implementation of recommendations for C. difficile prevention in 2012; and
- a number of other reviews into quality of care and physician performance both in British Columbia and Ontario.
The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council was created in 2008 to improve quality throughout the health-care system in British Columbia, through collaboration with patients, the public and those working in the health-care system. Its purpose is to provide advice and make recommendations to the Minister of Health on matters related to patient safety and quality of care in all health-care sectors, and to bring health-system stakeholders together in a collaborative partnership to promote and inform a provincially co-ordinated, innovative and patient-centred approach to patient safety and quality improvement in British Columbia. The council also reviews opportunities to improve quality of care when asked to do so by the Minister of Health.
A bio of Dr. Doug Cochrane is available here: