This blog post was contributed by Summer Intern, IT Deployment and Integration Graeme Larsen.
“Digital Health” is a complicated idea. To the uninitiated, the phrase could mean all manner of things, from robots performing surgery, to artificial intelligence solving diagnostic problems, to information networks connecting doctors to their patients hundreds of kilometers away. Nevertheless, regardless of how the words are interpreted, I am sure everyone agrees that “Digital Health” is important.
Flung head-first into this crazy new world – wow – did I ever feel out of my depth!
Four months ago, I began my journey as an intern at OntarioMD, a provincial leader in Digital Health, where I quickly learned that it’s not at all about robots.
The most important aspects of digital health concern information management. For instance, OntarioMD has developed a service called Health Report Manager (HRM), which connects Ontario’s primary care providers to surrounding hospitals to facilitate the sending and receiving of patient information. It is responsible for many things I used to take for granted. Think about the impact of electronic sending and receiving of an x-ray report immediately after it is issued – it is colossal. Doctors are now able to receive patient information in real time, and are immediately notified when a patient is discharged from hospital. They can then follow up right away, thus improving quality of care when the patient needs it the most. Digital upgrades like this have substantially improved patient outcomes in Ontario, and have contributed to a greater standard of care across the province.
As an intern, I was lucky to be directly involved with HRM as a part of the OntarioMD Deployment Team. This was a big opportunity for someone my age. I was responsible for the early stages of the on boarding process, connecting medical clinics to the HRM system. I can hardly begin to think of how many patients may be positively affected by my work.
I also had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the company’s new Client Relationship Management system. I was invited to take part in discussions and to offer possible improvements and strategies to be used in the process. It was a privilege. Only a few months ago, I was a naïve 18-year-old with not a clue that this complex, corporate world existed. That has all changed.
The trust that OntarioMD placed in me early on left a positive, lasting impression in my mind. This company trusts and hires the right people. Sarah Hutchison and her team of executives have worked tirelessly to push change and innovation in the healthcare sector, and working with them has inspired me to want to do the same. From the executives, all the way down to the other interns, everyone is extremely welcoming, encouraging, and they are all working towards the same goal: to improve Ontario’s healthcare system.
As an intern, I was not grabbing coffee. I was contributing to important projects, systems, and conversations in a significant way. I am extremely grateful to OntarioMD for trusting me as one of their own. My time here is guaranteed to benefit my future career – and I know that I leave with lasting friendships, and a wealth of knowledge that could not have come from anywhere else.