Ontario’s 14 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) operate at the hub of the health care system receiving thousands of referrals a day from hospitals and community sources such as family practices and clients or their caregivers and connect them: to in-home nursing, personal support or therapy services; to Long Term Care Homes for short stay, respite and long term care; and to community support services agencies (CSSAs) such as assisted living and adult day programs. The Champlain CCAC has taken a leadership role in the implementation of an innovative, fully electronic health record in the community sector. The Champlain CCAC is the only CCAC with an Intake Referral Portal, and is piloting two additional electronic referral capabilities within Ontario. The Champlain CCAC’s ‘paperless project’ has delivered a fully electronic community health record and referral capability. Each of the phases within the paperless project consisted of an initial operations pilot to validate the process, to ensure that the underlying tools worked as they should, and to validate the expected operational benefits. The results have been: • Significant increases in client safety, ensuring no gaps and tracking of referral status through the transitions from hospitals into the CCAC; between Teams within the CCAC; and to external service provider and other partners; • Enhanced coordination of services and activities across the many parties involved in the community health care sector; • Mitigating client risk through increased document clarity, accuracy of information through decreased transcription (and chance of error), and timeliness of the updates of the health records; • The ability to access all relevant client and health information on demand by both internal CCAC staff and external partner staff; • Reduced administrative and related overhead costs; and • Staff access to more efficient tools. • Case managers, freed from the need to access paper charts, can return directly home to complete their work after client visits reducing travel time and resulting, in conjunction with other CCAC initiatives, in a demonstrably higher number of client visits per case manager per month.
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