Next #hcsmca chat
Wednesday February 10, 2016 at 1pm ET (2pm AT, noon CT, 11am MT, 10am PT)
hcsmca = Health Care Social Media Canada more info >>
By Dr. Darren Larsen (@larsendarren)
We have come a long way in Canada in getting physicians to adopt digital records systems in the form of office-based electronic medical records (EMRs). In Ontario alone, over 11,600 physicians (both family doctors and specialists) have EMRs in their practices and are using them with varying levels of sophistication. For many of us physicians, the EMR is our lifeline to our patients. It is the environment in which we spend almost all of our day, recording the patient story, reading and thinking about test results and communicating with our peers externally through the creation of referrals, and internally with messaging systems.
Some clinics are starting to push the boundaries of basic use, though, and this is where the power of digital records systems becomes apparent. This is not easy work. The thinking required to move to mature EMR use takes reflection and solid dedicated effort on behalf of physicians, nurses and the staff they employ and is often done off the side of the desk. Advancing to the mature use of EMR presents change management challenges, changing the way we work. How do we convince medical personnel of the benefit of moving forward? How do we make the work palatable in the face of all the other demands facing them every day from the clinical, business and system perspective? How do we do all of this in an already strained system with fewer and fewer payments for participation?
There is a tendency to look to our American neighbours in their advancement of EMR maturity, but models there have been built on massive incentive payments without necessarily a view to how the change can be sustained.
On February 10 at 1pm ET (time zone converter), @OntarioEMRs is hosting the #hcsmca tweetchat to explore barriers and opportunities in the advancement EMR as it applies to both primary care and specialist care. We are posing four big questions to advance the conversation and gather great ideas with the #hcsmca community to help promote change.
- T1: How do you use EMRs now? What do you value in them? As a health professional, patient, researcher, etc.
- T2: What would the EMR of 2030 look like? Where do we need to get to?
- T3: What could/should be done w/ the vast data in EMR systems to improve patient care, relationships & the healthcare system?
- T4: How to move forward/promote the advanced adoption and use of mature EMR systems?
By Robyn Sussel, Signals.ca and Evening Rounds
Why is the first national symposium of the #hcsmca community being held in Vancouver?
#hcsmca was founded in Toronto by Colleen Young, making Toronto its birth place. However uptake quickly spread and active #hcmsca members came from across Canada, even open to input in French due to the many bilingual participants involved.
So why Vancouver?
One of the many great strengths of #hcsmca is its diversity and also openness to experiences beyond Toronto — including tweet chats on telehealth and e-health for rural settings and how social media communities can support people who have poor access to a family doctor, to name just a couple. In fact, when looking back through the list of topics over the five year life of #hcsmca, most of them are universal to Canadian patients, health providers and health communicators — and not at all Toronto-centric!
So it was no surprise to me when I floated the idea of holding a national conference in somewhere other than Toronto that Colleen and others in the community jumped at the opportunity. They felt that holding the meeting in Vancouver actually demonstrated the strength of the connections we have formed through our virtual community — and could also afford people in Western Canada an extra opportunity to attend such a watershed event.
Our organizing committee has a strong contingent from Vancouver but we are from across Canada. In addition to myself, the organizers are: Marina Bastawrous, Toronto; Janelle Chung, Vancouver; Colin Hung, Toronto; Isabel Jordan, Squamish BC; Lori Last, Vancouver; Leah Lockhart, Vancouver; Trish Paton, Edmonton; Pat Rich, Ottawa; Kevin Smith, Vancouver; and Colleen Young, Toronto.
Another reason why Vancouver is a logical location, is that here in Vancouver we pioneered an in-person “off-shoot” of #hcsmca that we called “Evening Rounds.” Evening Rounds was created three years ago after several successful “west coast” #hcsmca tweet ups. The people who gathered really wanted more opportunities to learn and share experiences in health care and digital technologies. Co-founded by Dan Hooker, Alissa Sadler, Sean Cranbury and myself, Evening Rounds was fashioned as a monthly speaker series and networking meeting with my firm (Signals) and Providence Health Care as co-sponsors. So we have a local active and engaged community that will play host to our colleagues from east of the Rockies! I encourage any Evening Rounds regulars to quickly get registered for the #hcsmca event!
And finally, the last and very important reason why Vancouver makes sense is that the BC Patient Safety and Quality Council stepped up to support a one day event in conjunction with their annual Quality Forum. The logistical support of this forward-thinking and digitally savvy group ensured that this dream — cooked up by a few #hcsmca-ers scattered across Canada — came to fruition. We are very grateful for their support.
I’m not even going to mention that Vancouver in February is probably the most pleasant spot in the country with all the snow safely ensconced in the mountains. And that’s because I’m going to write another blog post on all the wonderful things to do in and around the city towards the end of February.
While you’re making your travel plans, I would really encourage you to also attend the Quality Forum 2016. While some of the content and case studies are from BC, like #hcsmca, the topics are all very transferable and translatable across the Canadian health care landscape. Registration fees are very reasonable, and as an attendee from past QF’s I know you will learn a great deal.
As the moderator of the day’s event, and an ambassador for Evening Rounds, I look forward to welcoming you to my city on February 24th.