Toronto East General Hospital, along with its partners Ontario Association for Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) and Ontario MD, have developed Electronic Discharge eNotifications to communicate with a patient’s primary care physician. The eNotification improves 7-day physician follow-up post discharge for complex patients, facilitates information transfers at key transitions in care, and aims to decrease Emergency Department visits. eNotifications are fully automated and fit within existing business processes and technology; Toronto East General Hospital registration staff complete their normal workflow and the eNotifications are now an automatic output.
In the first three months of 2014-15, 100% of the notifications that were sent from the Toronto East General Hospital to the South East Toronto Family Health Team (SETFHT) were reviewed by the family physician within 7 days and a follow-up action was determined. In this initiative three automatic eNotifications are sent to primary care: Emergency Discharge, Inpatient Admission, and Inpatient Discharge. The eNotification states the patient name, corresponding dates, reason(s) for visit/admission, demographic information, and whether the patient is a Community Care Access Centre client (CCAC).
The process enables the hospital to send information to physicians about patient interactions in a timely manner and also highlights follow-up pieces for the physician. This initiative uses the Hospital Report Manager (HRM) system for all primary care physicians who have signed up for Ontario MD’s Hospital Report Manager initiative and who have an electronic health record. The information sent to the physicians arrives in near real-time to their inbox in categorized reports. This decreases the time delay for discharge summaries and facilitates coordinated care between providers. If a physician does not have an electronic health record, an emergency discharge notification can be sent through fax.
Overall, eNotifications are unique because they are automated, timely, integrated into existing workflow, and are a secure way to deliver information.
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