Dr. Jeremy Theal wins Minister's Medal for improving patient care with eHealth innovations

TORONTO, October 15, 2015 – Dr. Jeremy Theal has been recognized by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for improving patient care at North York General Hospital (NYGH) and improving the quality and safety of care of patients across the province and the country. Dr. Theal has been awarded the 2015 Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety (individual) for conceiving and leading the development of the Canadian CPOE Toolkit.

The Canadian CPOE Toolkit was inspired by NYGH's eCare project, a multi-year project to improve patient safety and quality of care through the use of leading-edge technologies that reduce medication errors and provide evidence-based information automatically as doctors and nurses make care decisions with patients. The Canadian CPOE Toolkit (http://www.cpoe-toolkit.ca) shares evidence-based order sets and best-practice implementation tools across Canada, at no cost to hospitals. Minister's Medal recipient Dr. Jeremy Theal (right) with the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Photo: Dr. Jeremy Theal, far right, Chief Medical Information Officer and Gastroenterologist at North York General Hospital, was presented with the Minister's Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety by the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The award ceremony was held October 14 during the Health Quality Transformation 2015 conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“Successfully implementing and sustaining eCare requires strong clinical leadership. Dr. Theal has been a bridge between our front-line clinicians and our information systems team,” says Tim Rutledge, President and CEO, NYGH. “His leadership, together with the efforts of staff and physicians, made it possible to implement over 700 order sets that help to ensure our patients receive the highest standards of care. Since implementing eCare, we have virtually eliminated medication errors previously caused by manual procedures and gaps in clinical information.”

“The need for the Canadian CPOE Toolkit is clear. Fewer than 10% of Canadian hospitals have implemented computerized provider order entry (CPOE) systems,” says John Aldis, Vice President, Corporate and Information Services, Chief Financial Officer, NYGH. “The Canadian CPOE Toolkit is the realization of Dr. Theal's and North York General Hospital's intention to continue to build and extend the benefits of eCare across Canada's health care system.”

Today, there are more than 1,280 evidence-based order sets available in the Canadian CPOE Toolkit, and 49 healthcare organizations from six provinces are members. Another 50 organizations are in the process of signing up. As well, five Ontario healthcare organizations are now contributing order sets to the Toolkit.

Dr. Jeremy Theal is a staff Gastroenterologist and Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) at North York General Hospital. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine, and has fellowships in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and therapeutic endoscopy. Dr. Theal also completed an internship in health informatics at Harvard University.

For his work on NYGH's eCare project, Dr. Theal was recognized with the national "Community-Based Physician Leader/Innovator of the Year" award from COACH, Canada's Health Informatics Association.

In 2011, NYGH became the first community academic hospital in Canada to be designated Stage 6 by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS uses its Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) to score hospitals eHealth adoption and integration progress. Since 2011, NYGH's eCare project has won five other national awards, including the prestigious 3M Canada Health Care Quality Team Award in 2012.

North York General Hospital, affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across three sites. Through partnerships, collaboration and academic endeavours, we seek to set new standards for patient- and family-centred care. Working together with our patients and their families, we are making a world of difference.

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