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‘Doorways’ project swings open

On Monday, Community Care Information Management, in partnership with the Sault Area Hospital, four Local Health Integration Networks (Champlain, North East, North Simcoe Muskoka, and North West), and eHealth Ontario, completed the launch of the Integrated Assessment Record health-provider portal, “Doorways.”

The portal establishes a secure, single point of entry for providers to access a range of clinical and assessment information from any location electronically.

“Doorways” will provide strengthened connections between providers and patients, and is being piloted for mental health and addiction patients, as well as health-care providers and community service providers for these patients.

This technology improves patient care by eliminating the need for patients to repeat information to each provider.

For the first time ever, the portal allows patient information to be shared between mental health and addiction service providers, regardless of where they are located.

The portal is being piloted to a targeted group of organizations in each of the four participating LHINs.

Specific health service providers were selected based on readiness, interest, and patient flow.

“Patients will now benefit from secure online access to important medical data,” said Laura Kokocinski, CEO of the North West LHIN.

“Creating ‘Doorways’ makes the information sharing process for providers more efficient while upholding patient privacy, resulting in quality care that is both effective and accurate,” she noted.

“Doorways” was established to improve provider productivity by reducing the time providers spend searching for patient information.

It improves provider access to and flow of shared clinical information across the continuum of care, creating the ability for providers to access patient information remotely (i.e., hospital, clinic, community office), which results in improved decision-making for patient diagnosis and treatment.

“Doorways” went live on Nov. 22, with providers in the North Simcoe Muskoka and Champlain LHINs accessing the portal.

Providers in the North East and North West LHINs began accessing the portal Monday (Dec. 13).

The project builds on CCIM’s new provincial IAR repository, originally piloted in the Erie St. Clair and the Central West LHINs earlier this year.

The IAR provides a single point of entry to access and view patient information.

It facilitates a common understanding of a patient’s needs and improves care planning as patients move across the health-care system.

The participating organizations were clustered geographically within each LHIN to address the likelihood of a patient who moves between various providers along the continuum of in-patient, emergency, and out-patient services.

At least one hospital and one community mental health organization from each of the four LHINs were required to participate.

The portal includes information from two standardized assessments: the Ontario Common Assessment of Needs and the Mental Health Resident Assessment Instrument.

The portal safely and confidentially allows access to patient information for health service providers, including nurses, doctors, other practitioners employed by community support organizations, hospital emergency rooms, and in-patient psychiatric facilities.

Portals are a key element of eHealth Ontario’s strategy to make electronic health records available to Ontarians by 2015.

Twenty-two separate health service provider organizations are participating in the pilot, including eight hospitals and 14 community agencies.

The portal will be operational through to the end of March, 2011.

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