Paper patient records? No, thanks. Files collecting dust in secure storage? Not anymore. Not only has the hospital moved toward a local Electronic Medical Record (EMR) that stores patient information from their hospital visits; now, the Quebec Health Record (DSQ for Dossier Santé Québec) introduces a province-wide EMR that captures patient information from a wider network of services.
The DSQ has already collected pharmacy records, lab analyses and results of medical imaging exams (including X-rays, scans and MRIs) into one system, with more to come. “Some of our staff already have access to the DSQ, with more coming on board systematically,” says Chief Information Officer Dr. Stephen Rosenthal.
“As soon as staff begin using the technology, it becomes much easier for them to get their patients’ test and imaging results as well as treatment histories from other healthcare centres. They also have more time to spend with patients, rather than requesting or searching for files,” he notes. “Additionally, patients can expect to receive answers sooner and avoid having to repeat tests done at other healthcare facilities. Altogether, the multi-disciplinary team will be able to more efficiently respond to and manage their patients’ medical needs; diagnoses could be reached more quickly and treatment plans established sooner.”
Doctors can request access to the DSQ through the JGH Department of Information Technologies (IT) or by submitting a request directly to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) at dsqmontreal.ca. The decision of when each department is granted access is regulated to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.
“Within the departments themselves, managers decide which of their non-physician staff should have access to the DSQ in each phase of the roll-out, based on the function of each position,” explains EMR Team Leader Mireille Fado at the JGH. “We started by introducing the DSQ system to staff in the Pharmacy Department, the labs, the Herzl clinic and the Emergency Department. The next steps are to identify and set up access for the appropriate staff. The departments are taking ownership of this process, making sure that in these first stages, they have the most appropriate professionals on their team using the technology to best serve their patients.”