April 23rd, 2014

Overcrowding and long wait times in Emergency Departments (ED) and breakdowns in communication are some of the major issues challenging the Canadian health care system.  There is a growing call from patients demanding faster access to the right services, improved outcomes and more involvement in managing their own health care, both in the acute and community care settings.  These challenges are daunting and there is the perception that funding requirements are prohibitive and that technical issues such as system compatibility impede implementation.

In the Canadian Medical Association’s recently published a report, Healthcare Transformation in Canada, it was observed that multi-billion dollar investments made in technology have not yet resulted in significant benefits to providers or patients.  The top-down approach of health jurisdictions and the focus on large-scale HIT systems and architecture were cited as contributing factors to the poor results.   There has been little investment at the points of care where the actual benefits of technology can be realized.

There are modern, innovative technology solutions implemented in Canada and elsewhere, which have the proven capability to overcome the challenges of managing patient flow in acute care settings and of connecting healthcare providers and their patients at all points on the care continuum.

Enterprise intelligence systems transform raw data into meaningful information which is used to improve operational efficiency and business performance.  The effective collection, use and sharing of data and information in hospitals help streamline processes to manage patient flow and eliminate bottlenecks in the ED and in other hospital departments.

  • McKesson Performance Visibility TM Solution – enabling access to care

After successful implementation in prestigious academic and community hospitals in the US and the UK, in 2012 McKesson Canada introduced McKesson Performance Visibility TM, (MPV) an Enterprise Intelligence Visibility Solution that enables real-time monitoring of patients and processes.  MPV is a visual control communication platform that displays electronic geo-spatial views of floor plans using color and icons to present information at a glance.  MPV creates the framework to improve staff effectiveness, support safety initiatives and compliance, improve flow and capacity and better control resource allocations and costs.

Southlake Regional Health Centre (SRHC) was the hospital in Canada to implement MPV.  The results achieved positively impacted operations and the quality of patient access and care:

  • Patient flow: 11% reduction in the length of stay in the Emergency Department;
  • Staff productivity : the elimination of 960 minutes of daily phone time related to patient assignment decisions; and
  • Quality of care: 50% reduction in the falls with outcomes rate per 1000 patient

Connectivity solutions enable the sharing of electronic medical records (EMR) using secure, web-based systems facilitates patient and provider interaction and creates patient engagement.  Patients can ask clinical questions via secure messaging, receive preventive care reminders, send a note to the provider’s office, request prescription renewals and refills, request lab or test results, and request appointments. They can also securely store and manage their personal health record information, including health conditions, allergies, immunizations, hospitalizations, office visits and their family health history.

  • RelayHealth – enabling patient engagement

In November 2011 McKesson Canada launched RelayHealth, an innovative interactive service that provides secure, web-based information exchange; allows for patient and provider interaction; collaboration among providers and efficient records management.  Already operational since 2000 throughout the U.S., more than 24 million patients and 40,000 physicians use RelayHealth, which is offered free of charge to patients with an email address and Internet access.

In January 2013, the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Nova Scotia launched a two-year demonstration project to assess a personal health record (PHR) strategy for the province using RelayHealth.  Thirty physicians signed on to participate and were given a target of enrolling 3,000 patients by the end of 2013. That target was met in early July, six months ahead of schedule, clearly demonstrating the important need for this service.  By the end of November, 2013, more than 4,700 patients were using the solution.  These patients received almost 11,000 lab tests in November alone, approximately 2.3 lab tests per person per month.  This indicates that the users of the system tended to be people with more health issues, which is exactly the group that the province wants to be more proactive with their own health care.

To learn more about McKesson Canada’s solutions visit

Contact:  Camille N. Isaacs-Morell 514 832-8295