iHealth in the South Island

Island Health has recently let us know that they will moving forward on iHealth in South Island.  At present we do not have further information or timelines.  Dr. Ben Williams, the Chief Medical Officer, as well as other members of Senior Executive will be presenting at a our MSA meeting on November 3rd.  We hope you will be able to attend – RSVP here.

We are going into this process with a mixture of advantages and challenges.  Unlike Nanaimo we know in advance how difficult implementation can be and we have the opportunity to prepare in advance.  And because of the work of the Nanaimo group as well as subsequent activations at St. Paul’s and Lions Gate in Coastal Health, the iHealth platform is now a better product.  However, we have the added stress of also dealing with COVID.

We have learned from Nanaimo and from Coastal some components for success:  Resources for adequate education as well as “elbow to elbow” support afterwards need to be available.  We will need to find a way to reduce hospital capacity to 85% during implementation, so that we have the time and space to learn.

We have also learned from both the Cochrane and the VECTOR reports the importance of culture.  Both we and Senior Administration need to be trustworthy.  We need Administration to be transparent, particularly when problems occur, so we can trust them when they proclaim success.  And they need to be able to trust us so that if we say we need help, we are heard.

We have also learned from Nanaimo that the time to advocate is before iHealth is launched.   After implementation, it is virtually impossible to pause, no matter what difficulties we are encountering.

The South Island MSA is proposing that we take a “checklist” approach to iHealth implementation, just as a surgery shouldn’t start until we know everything is in place.  As a first step, let us know what you feel should be on the checklist.  Once we know what the Medical Staff needs are, we can work with Administration to create a mutually agreeable checklist.

The MSA’s ability to advocate is strongest when we have clearly heard the voice of the medical staff.    We need to hear your concerns and suggestions.  If you have the time and interest to delve into this work more deeply by serving on a committee or providing expertise, let us know. If you don’t have the time for this level of commitment, know that we will be reaching out to ensure you have a voice.

Together we can make this process better.

Dr. Catherine Jenkins

South Island MSA Director at Large – iHealth

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