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HSN pioneers new eHealth system in the north

Health Sciences North has become the first hospital in Northern Ontario and one of the first in the province to use an eHealth initiative called the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS), a new way of sharing health records.
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Health Sciences North has become the first hospital in Northern Ontario and one of the first in the province to use an eHealth initiative called the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS), a new way of sharing health records. Supplied photo.

Health Sciences North has become the first hospital in Northern Ontario and one of the first in the province to use an eHealth initiative called the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS), a new way of sharing health records.

Under this initiative, results of any lab test ordered for patients at HSN will be sent to OLIS, the central, secure, storage site for all lab tests performed in the province. Health-care providers linked to OLIS can then access the lab results to better co-ordinate patient care.

“There is tremendous value in having our lab results stored at OLIS,” said Pam Nelson, HSN’s project director for Information Technology. “There are times when we refer patients to other centres, and giving those centres the ability to access the results will enhance the care patients receive.

“Likewise, when a patient is referred to HSN from another institution, having the ability to access their lab results from other hospitals and private laboratories through OLIS gives our providers a better picture of the patient’s overall health.”

In addition to its involvement with OLIS, HSN has also been a leader in electronic patient records through the Northeastern Ontario Network (NEON) — a consortium of 22 health-care institutions with a central patient information sharing system, said HSN in a news release.

HSN is the hub hospital and data centre for NEON.

The next phase of the OLIS initiative at HSN involves connecting all the NEON members to OLIS. That process will take place over the next few months.

“Adopting new technologies and innovations like OLIS is one of the key priorities we’ve identified in our Strategic Plan,” said Gaston Roy, HSN’s Chief Information Officer. “By embracing electronic health systems like OLIS, we are improving patient care by getting vital information more quickly and more efficiently into the hands of the people providing that care.”




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