Members of Council get exclusive look at CIUSSS West-Central Montreal Digital Command Centre
April 12, 2023
When former Liberal Health Minister Gaetan Barrette introduced Bill 10, the infamous health network reform, it did not get a ringing endorsement from too many people. The controversial bill led to the abolishment of individual health institutions boards, mainly hospitals, and merged them into 28 regional boards in the aim of saving the province $55 million in its first year. This was the introduction of what we is presently know as the CIUSSS networks.
Well, after visiting the Digital Command Centre for the CIUSS West-Central Montreal this week, based at the Jewish General Hospital, I can definitely see some of the major advantages of such an amalgamated system. Councillors Dida Berku, Sidney Benizri, Steven Erdelyi and I, along with Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, were invited for an exclusive briefing at the actual Command Centre earlier this week.
As officials reminded us, the CIUSSS is determined to use technology and other tools to amplify and improve care across the network. At the Command Centre we also got some background into Virtual Care (including [email protected], formerly [email protected]) and Telehealth and the Connected Health Record (CHR).
This is all part of the Care Everywhere initiative, which emphasizes the delivery of the right care at the right time in whichever location is most appropriate, safest and most convenient for the recipients of health care and social services.
Care Everywhere—based on the vision and philosophy of our CIUSSS’s President and CEO and Côte Saint-Luc resident Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg—is supported by four pillars:
- The Command Centre
This is the CIUSSS’s digital nerve centre, where numerous screens display real-time data about the care of healthcare users across the CIUSSS. As a result, data-driven decisions are facilitated, in order to improve patient flow and other complex aspects of care. The award-winning Command Centre is also known as C4, because its activities enable the Jewish General Hospital and the CIUSSS to be better able to Care, Communicate, Collaborate and Create. I was amazed to see the instant data coming in from multiple locations. Clearly this would not have been possible prior to the formation of the CIUSSS network.
- Virtual Care
Several forms of virtual care are provided in this CIUSSS, including the award-winning [email protected] program. Originally developed as the [email protected] program, it enables certain hospitalized patients who otherwise would have remained in the hospital to continue their hospitalization at home. The patient is monitored remotely by digital devices that are linked to our virtual care team, with the frequency of monitoring adjusted according to the patient’s needs for care. Care is provided by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who combine hospital and community expertise. In effect, the patient’s home is transformed into a virtual hospital until the patient can be safely discharged from the program.
- Connected Health Record
The Connected Health Record, which is currently being developed by and for the CIUSSS, will result in the elimination of the numerous computer programs and digital systems currently in use in nearly three dozen facilities across the CIUSSS. In their place will be a single platform, accessible to all CIUSSS staff to simplify and accelerate access to medical information about healthcare users. Staff will have access to uniform, accurate and up-to-date information about patients, clients and residents, no matter where care is provided in our CIUSSS. In addition, patients will eventually have access to their own clinical information via a state-of-the-art portal—a key aspect of improving the patient experience through Care Everywhere.
OROT’s contribution is pivotal to Care Everywhere, which relies on digital technology to deliver care. Anchoring the CIUSSS’s Digital Health program, OROT brings together healthcare professionals, users and private-sector entrepreneurs to scrutinize the network’s needs and problems, co-develop prototypes, accelerate commercialization and, ultimately, integrate the innovation. OROT gives entrepreneurs access to the insights of users and professionals, resulting in products that truly meet everyone’s requirements.
We even got to see what is called a “daily huddle,” where key players connected virtually and gave a complete update on capacity at the different health centres. It included a listing of all COVID patients (yes there are still COVID patients) and cardiac care.
“We no longer work in silos,” one of the spokespersons told us.
Of course, in Côte Saint-Luc, we have three CIUSSS institutions – Maimonides Geriatric Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital and the CLSC René-Cassin- and the fabulously run vaccination centre at Decarie Square.
We are in good hands with the CIUSS West-Central Montreal.