Don’t Miss Your Chance to Attend the Toronto EMR: Every Step Conference!

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By Peter Hamer, Executive Director, Ottawa Valley Family Health Team and OntarioMD Clinic Manager Peer Leader

There are less than two weeks left until Canada’s largest EMR conference series comes back to Toronto. If you’re a clinician who is using EMRs and digital health solutions, or you’re interested in learning more about the value of the technology for your practice, you need to register now to attend OntarioMD’s EMR: Every Step Conference on Thursday, September 27.

I’ve attended and presented at the EMR: Every Step Conference since the first one back in 2012, and I’ve connected with thousands of clinicians and other health care professionals and digital health stakeholders who have agreed that there are many good reasons to make time in their schedule for this annual event. The conference offers a full day of CME-accredited content across 20 educational sessions, EMR workshops, a vendor showcase and two keynote addresses. The ability to access this much practical knowledge and CME credits for a registration fee of just $160 ($100 for students) is virtually unmatched anywhere else.

EMR: Every Step Conference content is provided by clinicians, for clinicians. The conference abstract process for this event began in the spring, when a clinician review committee analyzed and evaluated dozens of submitted abstracts to select the ones they knew would offer the best clinical value to their colleagues.

 The Conference Agenda 

You can view the full agenda for our Toronto EMR: Every Step Conference agenda here, including session summaries and speaker details. The content falls into four streams:  

  • Clinical Enhancements (Opioid Management, Optimizing EMR for cancer screenings, etc.) 
  • Digital Health (ebooking, eConsult, etc.) 
  • EMR Management (Clinic Manager Perspective on EMR, Practical Quality Improvements, etc.) 
  • OntarioMD Products and Services (EMR Dashboard, Privacy and Security, etc.) 

In addition to the great knowledge-building educational sessions, we’re proud to offer clinicians and their staff a variety of training opportunities to learn more about how their EMR can work for their unique practice needs:  

  • Learn tips and tricks from your EMR vendor in the EMR Workshops 
  • Get EMR-focused mentorship from Physician, Clinic Manager and Nurse Peer Leaders by signing up for one-on-one Peer Leader Engagements 
  • Take the opportunity to complete an EMR Progress Assessment to see what level of EMR use you’re currently at 
  • Learn about OntarioMD’s Privacy and Security Training Module, and why successful completion of this online training module is one of the necessary requirements for access to some of Ontario’s digital health assets, including the electronic health record systems. 

For the first time ever, the upcoming OntarioMD EMR: Every Step Conference will feature two keynote addresses. 

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Our morning keynote will feature Julie Drury, Chair of the Minister’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, She will deliver an address on the importance of including the patient perspective in digital health. 

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Our closing keynote will be delivered by Dr. Julielynn Wong, internationally recognized as a 3D printing, drone, robotics, telemedicine and digital health pioneer who uses cutting-edge technology to deliver healthcare solutions across diverse environments. Her presentation is titled “From Fax Machine to 3D Printers: Digital Health at Warp Speed.” 

Whether you’re a new EMR user, or your practice has been connected for many years, the Toronto EMR: Every Step Conference will help you understand the latest trends and innovations in digital health and determine how this game-changing technology and support from OntarioMD can help you meet your unique practice needs.

 Limited conference registration spots remain. Register Today!  

Digital health helped me breathe again!

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Contributed by Surya Qarin, OntarioMD Practice Management Assistant 

Anyone that has known me long enough knows I have spent much of my life in and out of hospitals – and that’s not because the doctors are cute. As a matter of fact, Etobicoke General’s nurses and I are on a first name basis now, and they know exactly which vein works best when drawing blood, and which ones “hide.”

As a child, I was hospitalized every other week for severe asthma. It seemed to subside after I turned 12… at least I thought it did. I didn’t even think asthma was a real issue for adults. I’d always been told people outgrow it. But this is not the case: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.7% of women aged 18 or older have asthma and are more likely to die of asthma than men. Adults are also four times more likely to die of asthma than children. Asthma Canada stats show that up to 250,000 Canadians are living with severe asthma.

Asthma returned to my life a few years ago, as a moderate condition. I had become more active, believing it would help with my other health issues (which it did). As long as I took my puffers before and after working out, I would not have any issues with breathing.

Then flu season hit, and I got sick a few times between December 2016 and February 2017. Those who know me understand my strong belief that I am super woman and do not like to complain about being sick or having “a little cold.” Unfortunately, this was not just a small cold: it had turned from a cold, to bronchitis, to full blown pneumonia by April 2017. Even then, I still refused to see a doctor. One day, on my drive home from work, I felt a sharp chest pain, and something didn’t seem right. I was not just having a little difficulty while breathing as I had been the last few months. I actually could not breathe.

Gasping for air, I pulled over, sent a quick text to my sister and drove to Humber River Hospital. There, I realized how difficult it would be for me to get my medical records: My family doctor was not affiliated with the hospital, nor was Etobicoke General. They were, however, able to pull my past drug history from my pharmacy and go based off that information. I was stabilized and discharged.

A few days later, my breathing difficulties returned. I went into Etobicoke General, and they were able to pull my history right away and admit me to hospital within the hour. Turns out my lungs had started shutting down due to the pneumonia and asthma, and as it was high-humidity and high-allergy season, being outside did not help me. During my stay in the hospital, my family doctor received hospital reports via Health Report Manager (HRM) and he was kept updated on my condition, as were my respirologist and cardiologist.

After a few weeks of recovery, I thought all was well. However, I caught a “cold” again in October, and this time things deteriorated fast! I ended up in hospital yet again. My respirologist was made aware of my condition in real time via the hospital’s EMR and was able to work with the other respirologist on duty and doctors working on my case to provide the best course of treatment given my history. My current spirometry test results were easily available for the clinicians, and the instant connectivity between those on my medical team helped improve my care and recovery process.

Once again, my family doctor’s ability to receive hospital reports to his EMR through HRM enabled him to follow-up accordingly, ensure I had the contacts I needed for my health, schedule regular testing, and most importantly, help ensure that I didn’t end up in the hospital again. I’m happy to say that I have not been hospitalized overnight since November of 2017.

As a member of the team at OntarioMD, I help clinicians across the province understand the value that EMRs and digital health tools such as HRM can bring to their practice and the quality of patient care they’re able to provide. But being a patient in the health care system has really demonstrated the importance of these tools to me first-hand. If you’re a clinician who has questions about optimizing your EMR use, or you want to connect to HRM or the wide range of other digital health tools in Ontario, contact OntarioMD at support@ontariomd.com.