VP Guest blog – Philip Barker, Vice President, Planning, Informatics and Analytics
28/09/2016 9:00:00 AM
Across the country – and in fact all over the world – conversations amongst health care leaders are tuned towards this concept of “shift” we talk about it so much in Fraser Health. When we talk about the shift, we are talking about moving away from a system that relies heavily on hospitals and towards a system that promotes health and wellness, prevention and management. Refining our use of hospitals and expanding community services are two ways to create a more sustainable system that better supports the health needs of our communities and citizens. Fraser Health is well positioned to make this shift a reality. Our vision Better health. Best in health care. has long stood for our organizational commitment to help people be well, stay well, get well, or manage better and when they are sick or injured, to deliver the very best care we can.
Our executive team members are committed to making decisions and organizing their portfolios to best support our efforts. I’d like to introduce them and let them tell you how they are supporting Fraser Health’s vision of Better health. Best in health care.
Using technology and data management wisely underlies much of our work toward a more sustainable system. Every time someone touches the health care system, a wealth of information can help us partner with them and make the best choices for care – but only when it is organized and delivered to the right people at the right time. And the right use of technology can connect care providers and patients to that information and to each other efficiently.
I’d like to introduce Philip Barker, Fraser Health’s Vice President of Planning, Informatics and Analytics:
Information management plays a foundational role in shifting from hospital-based acute care to community-based health care. Improving the flow of data and using appropriate new technologies enables Fraser Health staff and physicians to move health information quickly, and in context, across the whole continuum, in support of timely and appropriate access to care.
One example is the upgrade to the PARIS information system used by Fraser Health community health workers to better support mental health, home care and home support. This upgrade provides clinicians with more seamless information and lays the foundation for PARIS to be used in the future as a mobile app.
We are planning for another project that provides information from the health authority electronically to doctors in the community. For example, if you have to visit one of our emergency departments, your family doctor will have access to the information of that visit, or if you’ve had surgery and end up back at the hospital within seven days, we notify your surgeon. This kind of information flow is important to ensuring that at every step of your care, your health care providers have the right information at the right time to support you.
To further support seamless health care delivery, we’re also working on connecting the clinical systems used in our primary health clinics with the province’s client registry, ensuring primary care providers can securely and appropriately access their client’s mental health clinic or home health records, and vice versa.
One great example of technology use sounds simple but has a profound impact on how efficiently our community-based workers can do their jobs. We are using software that allows our home support workers to map out the best way to see their clients and calculates their business expenses automatically. All performed through their mobile devices. This change allows us to support even more clients in their homes.
For our patients with very complex care needs, we have now added almost 400 individual care plans to our electronic health record system, called Meditech, so that plan is available anytime and anywhere a complex patient visits one of our emergency rooms. That’s hundreds of people and counting we can better support to manage their health and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations.
In the coming years, among other major projects, the planning, informatics and analytics portfolio will support the information needs of the primary care home model, which link family practices to Fraser Health’s primary care services to improve access and the continuity of care for our patients.