WINDSOR, ONT. -- A new electronic hospital information system is set to 'go live' at Windsor Regional Hospital on April 11.

The new system is already in use at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Erie Shores Healthcare in Leamington, the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and Sarnia’s Bluewater Health.

"We’re very much looking forward to having electronic medical records,” says Windsor Regional's vice-president of Critical Care, Karen Riddell. “It’s really going to transform care for our patients.”

Hospital officials say the ‘E-Volve’ program will improve communications between frontline care providers and professional hospital staff with patients by using a regional electronic medical record. Currently, physicians and staff must input and transfer all data manually. The new system allows information to be shared instantly between hospital care teams, saving time for vital decision-making. “It’s what the community deserves.”

Chief of Staff at Windsor Regional Hospital Dr. Wassim Saad says it’s going to be a huge cultural change at both the Metropolitan and Ouellette campuses. Saad calls the change a necessary step to move forward.

“Paper charts are antiquated,” says Saad. “We need to move into the 21st century like the rest of the world. I’m glad we’re doing it. Yes, it’s in the middle of a pandemic but you know, if we keep pushing it back there’s never a perfect time to go ahead with it.”

Saad anticipates the introduction of the new system will create a learning curve that may take some getting used to, but believes the eventually efficiencies will be beneficial.

“Once that gets going and we’re into that era of purely paperless charts, there’s no questions the advantages for patient care, the efficiency for patient care, and making sure that that patients journey regardless of what hospital they’re in, in our entire region, a healthcare provider will have access to that information which will provide for safer care,” he adds.