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CMIO Corner

~a message from Dr. Ashley Miller, Chief Medical Information Officer

Time is flying by, and we are getting closer and closer to our first Clinical Information System Go-Live wave! In February 2025, Dartmouth General Hospital, Cobequid Community Health Centre, and Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre will implement the new OPOR-CIS. Planning is underway with these sites to coordinate the logistics, including identifying space for our team members to be onsite providing support.

At the centre of the OPOR Program is improved patient care. Clinical standardization supports patient care and efficiencies by streamlining workflows and processes. Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is a function within the OPOR-CIS, and regardless of where a patient is being treated, will allow physicians and providers to electronically view, place, and manage orders. This is another example of the digitization of our daily operations.

Currently orders are written on paper. Like other written documentation, this can lead to inconsistencies and trouble with legibility. With CPOE, orders entered by physicians and providers will flow directly to the appropriate services and individuals for actioning. All orders and their status will be visible for tracking purposes and follow-up, supporting more efficient patient care. Legible orders that do not require transcription or re-entry, and follow a standardized format, reduce incidents of medication errors and adverse drug events. It will also reduce duplication of testing for patients, improving their experience and saving resources for the healthcare system.

As with the entire OPOR-CIS, CPOE will support efficiencies and accuracy of care for patients. Having timely access to patient information allows all clinicians, anywhere in the province, to quickly review a patient’s medical history, including medications, diagnoses, and laboratory results. This ensures the most up-to-date information is available when making treatment decisions.

With CPOE, physicians and providers can view all orders in one area, organized by type. The status of each order is clearly indicated, and additional details are available for each order, upon selection. This will also allow for the monitoring and analysis of data related to patient safety. Patterns and trends can be detected and targeted interventions implemented to improve patient safety.

Across the province, the OPOR Clinical Engagement team is working with physicians and providers to ensure their peers are engaged and informed. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated healthcare professionals from all IWK Health sites and NSHealth zones supporting the program. By participating in design workshops your voices influence how the OPOR-CIS will function.

Part of onsite support and clinical engagement is the OPOR Change Network. The OPOR Change Network is a robust group of people from around Nova Scotia, in different roles, all with the intention of supporting the change process. Many of these roles are held by the frontline healthcare employees who will be using OPOR every day. With their help, we will support all users of OPOR through the transition from paper to digital.  ​

Members of the OPOR Change Network include Physician Leads. Physician Leads have a focused responsibility across their designated specialty area or zone as appropriate, with special attention on CIS implementation and physician engagement. Physician Leads are providers employed with OPOR (via sessional and deliverable based remuneration). While they still practice clinically, they report directly to the Chief Medical Information officer (CMIO) and VP Medicine for IWK Health and Nova Scotia Health for OPOR responsibilities.

Physician Leads will help the Physician and Provider Support Team bridge the gap between OPOR and providers who are not technically employees of NSH or IWK Health. These Leads act as champions of OPOR within their specialties and peer groups and assist in sharing information about OPOR with external provider partners.

Physicians are not limited to one form of involvement. For information on all Change Network opportunities, visit the OPOR website.

The OPOR Clinical Engagement Team hosts site visits in zones and sites around the province, in addition to Virtual Town Halls each month. If you are interested in a more tailored presentation for your department or teams, we are available to present to your groups. We value the feedback received during presentations, and the opportunity to share information is very important. To schedule a presentation, or if you have other questions about OPOR you can contact us at CMIO@nshealth.ca.

 

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