Moving to the forefront of health care technology

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At Mackenzie Health, patients are at the heart of everything we do. As a regional health care provider serving a population of more than half a million people across York Region and beyond, Mackenzie Health is evolving its IT infrastructure to benefit  both the existing Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital as well as the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital expected to be completed  in 2019.

Recently, the organization introduced ICAT Healthcare, a strategy that will see Mackenzie Health propel its information, communications, and automation technology (ICAT) systems to a leadership position within the health care industry over the next four years.

Nationally recognized for its commitment to safety, quality patient care and innovation, Mackenzie Health works with health care, technology and academic partners to constantly evolve and adapt to keep current with best practice and technology changes.

“ICAT Healthcare serves as a key pillar in helping Mackenzie Health achieve its vision to create a world-class health experience for its patients by providing our staff and physicians with world-class technologies to enable that care,” says Richard Tam, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Mackenzie Health.

New first-in-Canada hospital portable data centre

The recent addition of Mackenzie Health’s state-of-the-art, portable data centre, puts Mackenzie Health at the forefront of health care IT infrastructure as the first health care organization in Canada to acquire this kind of technology. Mackenzie Health is among the first of only a handful of health care organizations across North America to do so.

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Currently used by technology giants such as Microsoft, Google and high security military installations, the data centre ‘future proofs’ Mackenzie Health to be able to adopt a wide range of new and emerging technologies. It will also support the work of Mackenzie Health’s Innovation Unit and as well as enable the organization’s medical electronic record adoption to go from EMRAM 3 to EMRAM 7 in just two years.

The new data centre also helps Mackenzie Health to set the stage for future innovation that will see the Mackenzie Richmond Hill and Mackenzie Vaughan Hospitals to become a truly ‘smart hospital’. This means having digital technologies that have interconnectivity between systems so that they share information to better support clinicians to care for their patients.

“A key aspect of our ICAT Healthcare strategy is to introduce the majority of new technologies at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital well in advance of the opening of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital,” says Mackenzie Health President and CEO Altaf Stationwala.

“By incorporating these technologies into their practices today, they will be well versed in the latest technologies when the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital opens. This approach will also enable both hospitals to share some of the most advanced technologies to enhance patient care delivery and safety creating a truly ‘smart hospital’,” adds Stationwala.

Preparing for tomorrow, today

In 2019, Mackenzie Health will complete construction of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital and will continue to operate Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. In preparation for this significant addition, in 2014, Mackenzie Health launched its Innovation Unit project and has been working with a variety of partners to refine and advance the project, which is a living laboratory for healthcare technologies. A first in Canada, Mackenzie Health’s is Innovation Unit is an acute care medical unit where healthcare innovations are developed, evaluated and adopted, with the goal to have other patient care units at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, as well as the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital adopt those most successful.

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The introduction of Mackenzie Health’s ICAT Healthcare strategy, supported by its first-in-Canada, state-of-the-art data centre, will provide technology solutions that enhance patient care through world-class technological solutions. Supported with accurate and consistent patient information across a multitude of devices, ICAT Healthcare will help Mackenzie Health incorporate easy to use systems ultimately enhancing patient care delivery and safety.

Mobile Way finding App and much more

ICAT Healthcare also enables Mackenzie Health to support a variety of exciting new technologies such as a new first-in-Canada GPS Mobile Way finding App and electronic kiosk system and a Bring Your Own Device program to enable staff and physicians to receive secure Mackenzie Health email on their personal smart phones, tablets and computers.  These new technologies are being developed now, to prepare for the future of healthcare at Mackenzie Health.

Going forward, the ICAT Healthcare strategy will enable our staff and physicians to enjoy:

  • more time at the bedside to care for their patients;
  • better communication and tools at their fingertips;
  • faster response times; and
  • reduced human error incidence, through the use of technology.

ICAT Healthcare will also help to create an exceptional care experience for patients by:

  • integrating care delivery customized to individual patient needs;
  • enhancing bed-side care as clinicians can better interact with patients with the technology; and
  • enhancing communications for patients with special needs such as built-in language translation services and touch screen technology for patients with limited mobility.

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The impact on the delivery of care at Mackenzie Health will be pervasive. It may also help to establish new standards across the healthcare industry including:

  • immediate access to clinical data anytime, anyplace across the organization; and
  • the development of clinical decision support tools to further improve safety and quality of care, shorten length of stay, and reduce readmission to hospital.