Our journey began in May 2009. Our mission? One standardized electronic chart for all regions of Eastern Health that use the Meditech health care information system. It was a big mission! Where would we get the people to do this, and where would we start?
The Meditech system is a vital part of the electronic health record; it is a secure way to record, to share and to maintain an individual’s electronic health information for use by the appropriate users. Our goal was to create one single Meditech System for the region – we called the project Meditech Consolidation. To achieve this goal, we would need to integrate our existing Meditech Systems in Avalon and the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas into our St. John’s Meditech system.
Why should Meditech systems be consolidated?
Meditech Consolidation benefits everyone; when we have one, unified Meditech system, clinicians in the circle of care will have easy appropriate access to clinical information gathered through Meditech anywhere in the region. This will assist them in making treatment decisions.
After several months of planning and discussion, we were successful in getting a small group of people together to start looking at this project. We quickly realized that this was a very complex project that would need a dedicated team of people – both clinical and technical – to achieve this dream. I was assigned to be part of that team.
Eastern Health took a huge leap to ensure that Meditech Consolidation too became a reality – it was decided that this, single project would become the number one priority project for Eastern Health for Healthcare Technology and Data Management.
A number of details had to be figured out to ensure regional Meditech Systems could be integrated sucessfully. To create a standardized health reccord, we needed to ensure that the information being entered was also standardized. In October 2012, the first steps towards consolidation were put in motion when the new provincial naming conventions for 300 lab tests and microbiology tests were introduced.
In March 2013 we hit our first major milestone.
After much work, Meditech Systems for the Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas was finally ready to be integrated into the regional system. Our ‘go live’ date was set for March 12, 2013…and we made it!! We provided onsite support 24/7 for the first five days, and then went to on call support. Success!
Unfortunately, we did not have time to bask in the glory of this success because we had to move on to Rural Avalon with a target date of June 25, 2013;. Well, heads down and hands on the wheel, we started again preparing to bring in another system. We were pros at this now, second time around. Go Live date was June 25, 2013, and we made that date, too.
All of this would not have been possible without the exceptional work and dedication of this highly-skilled group of people who are known as the Meditech Consolidation Group. This only goes to prove that technical and clinical people, when placed together, can learn from each other and get the job done!
Today, there is now one regional electronic health reccord for our acute care facilities using the Meditech System. But do we stop there? Of course not! On to more consolidations!
…The dream is now endless. ■
This story was written by Dawn Shea, a project manager for Meditech Colsolidation for Eastern Health.