First Canadian hospital to win prestigious award

It’s been a remarkable 12 months at Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores).

Since being recognized by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) for achieving Stage 7 in the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) in October, 2014, there has been a steady stream of celebrations.

Becoming has proven to be a hallmark achievement for our organization. More recently, Ontario Shores was named a 2015 recipient of the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Enterprise Award for Excellence, which recognizes the outstanding achievement of using health information technology to substantially improve patient outcomes while achieving return on investment. We are the first hospital in Canada and one of 77 organizations in the world to receive this prestigious recognition.

Awards and recognition is wonderful. The attention we have received as a result of these accomplishments not only enhances the reputation of our organization, but also instills a greater sense of pride in our patients, staff, family members and the community.

As proud as we are of our accomplishments, we’ve enjoyed the journey much more.


Ultimately within our organization, achieving Stage 7 or any other achievement must result in providing an answer to one simple question.

What does this mean for the care being provided at Ontario Shores?

As the Director of Professional Practice and Clinical Information, it is important for me to highlight that achieving Stage 7 and earning the Davies Award was not about the awards themselves but rather about the principles this designation promotes: patient safety and quality of care. Our transformation advanced a culture of adoption with our electronic medical record (EMR), where we are not just ‘dumping’ data into the EMR but in fact using the information towards enhancing patient safety and the quality of mental health care we provide at Ontario Shores.

An example of such quality is the widespread use of our computerized physician order entry (CPOE), where prescriptions are no longer handwritten or transcribed.  Our excellent and engaged team of physicians truly appreciates the safety concerns related to non-CPOE order entry. Our CPOE rates have been greater than 90 per cent (currently 94 per cent) for over a year, demonstrating the positive impact the EMR has on practice. Before having an electronic medical record, we would not have been able to effectively determine any of this information and promote patient safety in this domain. Similarly, our nurses who are dedicated to patient safety, have been adhering to best practices related to medication administration by ensuring that at minimum, 95 per cent of the time or greater, medications are being scanned into the electronic Medication Administration Record prior to administration.


In addition, from a quality of care lens, we have leveraged data analytics to support the implementation and adherence to our Clinical Practice Guidelines in the assessment and treatment of schizophrenia and metabolic monitoring. For example, we have seen a 27 per cent increase in adherence to metabolic monitoring for people on antipsychotics and almost a 20 cent decrease in the percentage of patients on multiple antipsychotics, which all align with evidence-based practices recommended in the Clinical Practice Guidelines. The use of the EMR has been integral to this process, as it has provided us with the ability to transform the clinical team’s day-to-day documentation into clinical dashboards available to our providers and clinical leadership teams, informing them of key information about adherence and outcomes related to our Clinical Practice Guidelines.

These are just a few examples of how we, at Ontario Shores, are advancing exemplary mental health care while leveraging the EMR as an enabler. Today, in our paperless clinical environment, our EMR system supports enhanced patient safety, improves the delivery and quality of mental health care, and uses standardized clinical documentation in an environment which is efficient, secure and collaborative. We look forward to continuing to build on our work thus far and advance the care being provided at Ontario Shores to our patients and families.