COVID-19 Notifications

Female physician working on a laptop

Ensuring that primary care providers and public health authorities are able to quickly receive positive COVID-19 results is key to combatting the virus. To that end, OntarioMD has adapted its digital notification system so that these critical results are pushed straight to clinicians’ electronic medical records so they can make informed decisions based on timely information.  

OntarioMD worked with Ontario Health Digital Services and vendor partners to adapt its Health Report Manager (HRM) digital solution to inform community-based physicians about the availability of COVID-19 test results on their patients. These reside in the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). 

“Physicians now know as soon as COVID-19 test results are available in OLIS on one of their patients,” said Dr. Darren Larsen, Chief Medical Officer, OntarioMD. “HRM COVID-19 notifications prompt clinicians to go check OLIS through their EMR-integrated patient query. They don’t have to go hunting for information in multiple web-based tools requiring multiple passwords. Time is of the essence when you’re dealing with a deadly virus that has spread so quickly across the globe. Patients who test positive can be monitored and contact traced right away,” he said.  

Clinicians prefer to have everything accessible through their EMRs as this is where they spend much of their working day. While HRM normally delivers fulsome clinical information, with laboratory data that’s not always possible.  

“The next best thing,” said Dr. Larsen, “is a notification of new information easily accessible centrally so that clinicians know to look for updates. COVID-19 notifications delivered to EMRs let clinicians know when to query OLIS directly from their EMRs while in the patient’s chart. Some clinicians are using a provincial clinical viewer to access OLIS lab results. That’s fine too if preferred, or for those who haven’t yet asked for EMR-integrated access to OLIS. OntarioMD is onboarding clinicians on behalf of the province to the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer to give them access.” 

In addition to COVID-19 lab notifications, OntarioMD has worked with hospitals to clearly identify any COVID-19 related encounters and deliver these reports to family physicians’ EMRs through HRM. These documents enable physicians to monitor patients who may have the virus – even if they have not yet tested positive. Hospitals that are offering dedicated COVID-19 Assessment Centres, such as the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto and the Guelph General Hospital, have created reports to be delivered immediately through HRM to family physicians when patients are assessed.  

For more information contact OntarioMD at [email protected] to get started.