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Electronic hospital patient records system earns provincial award

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A three-year project that created a new, standardized electronic records system for admitting, discharging and transferring hospital patients has been named Manitoba’s best-managed project for 2014.

The provincial Admission, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) Project beat out four other contenders for this year’s award from the Project Management Institute (PMI) of Manitoba.

The winner was announced at an awards luncheon held Tuesday at the RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre. The runner up was MTS Inc.’s Fleet Optimization Project.

This year’s competition attracted more than double the number of entrants than in 2013, when there were only two. The number of entrants fluctuates from year to year. For example, in 2010 there were 11, and in 2012 there were six.

This year’s winning project was a joint effort by Manitoba eHealth and Online Business Systems. Debbie Honke, project director with Manitoba eHealth’s Project Management Office, said a about 150 people worked on the project between the time it was launched and its completion last fall, including staff from 13 Manitoba hospitals that participated in the project.

The project’s goal was to create a standardized electronic records system, with a centralized computer system and a centralized database, for all patient admissions, discharges and transfers. Honke said all 13 hospitals are now using the new system, and it’s working well.

She said the long-term goal is to have every hospital in the province using the new system within the next two to three years, including Winnipeg’s Health Science Centre, which is now in the process of switching over.

Honke said having every hospital using the same electronic system for managing ADT services should provide a more consistent patient experience and improve patient care and safety.

Four other projects were in the running for this year’s award:

  • MTS Inc.: Its Fleet Optimization Project involved adopting Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology to better manage the utility company's fleet of 750 service vehicles. The goal was to reduce fuel consumption through better routing of vehicles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safe-driving scores. The project was completed on time and under budget, and the results have far exceeded expectations.
  • The Manitoba Teachers Society: The Fineos Implementation Project involved the implementation of a new software program for managing disability benefits claims by public school teachers. Rather than buying a custom-designed program, the society bought a base program from insurance-software developer Fineos that could be altered to fit its claims and payment-processing needs. Doing so enabled it to complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget.
  • Manitoba Justice: Maintenance Enforcement Program, Manitoba Jobs and the Economy and the Business Transformation and Technology Division: The Manitoba Maintenance Management Project (M3P) — Annex involved automating the process by which the province’s Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP), which enforces a child’s right to court-ordered financial support, garnishes federally-issued monies, such as wages, employment insurance payments and income tax refunds. It also improved the way the MEP manages summons, warrants, and other court-related matters.
  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and Manitoba eHealth: The Print Optimization Project used information and communications technology (ICT) to reduce print-related costs while also improving the management of secure information. The project not only exceeded its goal of achieving annual cost savings of $750,000, but did so without directly impacting patient care.
murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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