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Where in the world is Sumon Acharjee?

As the Joint Chief Information Officer (CIO) of North York General Hospital (NYGH) and Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), Sumon Acharjee splits his time between sites. Although he can't be in two places at once, he's always connected and easy to track down.

Sumon Acharjee, Joint Chief Information Officer, North York General Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital
Sumon Acharjee, Joint Chief Information Officer, North York General Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital

Since June 2017, Sumon has been working to harmonize the Information Services (IS) departments at each hospital, to identify the synergies and to leverage this new combination of expertise. The hospitals have agreed to a two-year partnership, which will be reviewed periodically throughout the term.

“This is a very exciting role because I can see opportunities for each hospital to help the other implement eHealth solutions that will improve clinical outcomes,” says Sumon. “The team at Michael Garron has been very welcoming and I am impressed with the patient- and family-focused culture at both organizations.”

Prior to Sumon taking on the Joint CIO role, NYGH and MGH had a well-established relationship between their IS teams. Following the retirement of MGH's CIO Pegi Rappaport earlier this year, the opportunity to form a partnership presented itself.

For Sumon, this did not mean simply mashing two IS departments together. Instead, he is taking time to explore the dynamics of both organizations and teams, keeping in mind each hospital has different priorities and strategic directions, as well as specific IS needs.

So far, Sumon sees more similarities than differences between the hospitals and the benefits far outweigh any challenges. In his first few months in the role, Sumon has witnessed two different, but equally talented teams with expertise in developing cutting-edge tools for health care providers.

“We've already started seeing some cross pollination between the teams to boost cyber security and to configure Cerner systems,” says Sumon. “It is clear that combining our talent and resources will enable us to take things to the next level.”

Both NYGH and MGH have attained Stage 6 of the HIMSS 7-stage model for adoption of electronic medical records. Being leaders in health information systems (HIS) gives Sumon and his teams a unique advantage of being able to assist the provincial government with its renewal their HIS systems roadmap.

Sumon hopes to replicate some of the MGH projects at NYGH such as advanced e-notifications and a patient portal. And vice-versa for NYGH to share learnings from the implementation of WIFI for patients and families, as well as innovations that have made IS systems easier for front-line providers to access.

In terms of setting a vision and direction, timing couldn't be better as both hospitals are refreshing their technology roadmaps.

“With the two hospitals working together I believe we can drive a lot of positive change in the health care system,” says Sumon. “There is a need for experienced leaders to help support the adoption of health information systems so that more hospitals in Ontario and Canada can benefit from this type of innovation.”

November 13, 2017