IHealth: South Island MSA Update

September 16th is “Go/NoGo” day for IHealth – the day when administration will decide whether to proceed with the scheduled ClinDoc launch at RJH on September 20th or postpone. A decision on the VGH launch will be made in late September before the anticipated launch day of October 4th.

Although your voices may sway us otherwise, at present our recommendation is that we should go forward as scheduled. We make this recommendation recognizing the tremendous pressure health care is under — patients in hallways and sunrooms, persistent short staffing and an increasing number of patients who lack access to primary care.  It is difficult to ask people to take on even one more task.   We also know that there is no consensus among the Medical Staff about the wisdom of changing to the electronic record.

However, the decision that we are making is not whether IHealth should proceed – that decision has already been made. What we can influence is the “when” and “how” and our question is whether a delay will improve the situation. We believe it will not and it has the potential to make things worse. The strains we are seeing now are likely to be long-lasting and we believe that we are better off launching now rather than in the historically busier winter months.  Plans have been scheduled around the anticipated launch date that would be difficult to alter now.   And if we delay too long, we will encroach on the time and resources available for the more difficult CPOE roll-out.

The actual work with the IHealth team has been a positive. They have made a real effort to collaborate. The feedback we have received about the training has been mostly positive and IHealth has committed to providing ongoing teaching and support. Work station availability remains a concern, particularly at VGH, but we are pleased that IHealth has hired a consultant to make an evidence based assessment of equipment needs.

We are also heartened that Senior Island Health Administration has acknowledged the tremendous stress clinical teams throughout the Island are under and have promised support. We look forward to seeing how these sentiments will be manifested in concrete measures.

We will continue to advocate for making the transition as smooth as possible.  The strength of our advocacy related directly to how clearly we can hear your voices. If you have thoughts that you want to share, you can let us know at ihealth@southislandmsa.ca.

From your South Island MSA Executive,

Drs. Catherine Jenkins, Fred Voon, Jennifer Balfour, Kevin Yee, John Galbraith, Maria Kang, Alicia Power

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