Like the big bang theory, small actions can produce big change. Virtually all BC doctors are involved on a local community level to improving health care. Often small pilots can expand to make a large improvement across a whole system.
Recently, the Divisions of Family Practice Victoria/South Island initiated an electronic notification (eNotification) pilot in partnership with Island Health Authority and Excelleris. eNotification automatically notifies family doctors when their patients are admitted to or discharged from hospital.
When family doctors are made aware that their patients are in the hospital, they can connect with the hospital staff or doctor to give important patient information and/or participate in discharge planning, including ensuring relevant home supports and follow-up.
The pilot required the hospital’s software system to be able to communicate with each doctors’ EMR software; while still maintaining the confidentiality of patient information. No easy task, but well worth the effort given the results. Funding for the pilot project came from Island Health and Shared Care, a collaborative committee of doctors and government. An independent evaluation found 83 percent of the participating 42 GPs agreed it helped them provide better care to their patients.
As a result, the eNotification is being expanded across the whole of Island Health’s 13 hospitals. The eNotification is being phased in over the coming months and will involve about 750 practicing physicians. More information.