Digitizing patient data enables transformation for healthcare
For years, information management company Polar Imaging has harnessed powerful technologies to launch businesses into the digital age. From activating the use of simple e-forms to improving entire operational processes, their pursuit to eliminate inefficiencies has introduced the London-based team to a range of work environments and industries across Southwestern Ontario.
That’s why Woodstock Hospital, whose vision began with a need to convert patient information from paper to digital, automate manual processes and make day-to-day operations efficient, has since evolved into a partnership that sparked digital transformation for the hospital, and an evolution for Polar Imaging’s own offerings.
Today, amid significant disruptions to healthcare systems across the region, the targeted solutions born from their longstanding partnership has allowed Polar Imaging to implement technology solutions that result in significant cost and time savings, better patient care, and future-proofed patient data.
Tailoring a suite of their services to drive these outcomes specifically for healthcare institutions, PI Healthcare materialized to provide a comprehensive solution that leverages ClinicalConnect, a platform for Southwestern Ontario hospitals that enables centralized access to patient information from other applications.
ClinicalConnect has been widely adopted by Southwestern Ontario hospitals, allowing physicians to easily access patient information. But without digital transformation in other areas — for instance, converting decades of patient documents to digital — hospitals aren’t able to reap the full benefits of the streamlined system.
In April 2020, while facing an influx of obstacles emerging from a global pandemic, Woodstock Hospital became the very first hospital to complete the PI Healthcare integration.
“We’re grateful that our partnership with Woodstock Hospital over the years has allowed us to create a relationship with ClinicalConnect organically and address the specific needs of hospitals to alleviate strain on their resources — especially given the current state of overwhelm on the sector as a whole,” said Steve Todd, Director, Business Development at Polar Imaging.
Now, the Polar Imaging team is focused on implementing PI Healthcare integration in two other hospitals in the region. A two-phased approach, Phase One captures backlogs of information, while Phase Two connects all the digitized data into the ClinicalConnect integration.
“Steve is a stellar example of a coachable entrepreneur who has been open to reimagining the future of his company,” said Alex Weiner, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at TechAlliance. “While Polar Imaging’s technology serves a wide range of sectors, we saw the opportunity to capitalize on their strong relationships with regional hospitals and their significant knowledge of healthcare IT infrastructure to deliver efficiency and cost-savings throughout the system by eliminating paper-based scanning, implementing privacy tools, and leveraging existing healthcare technologies to facilitate secure access to data.”
“Recognizing early on that we could activate solutions alongside technology investments that have already been made, has enabled us to connect healthcare professionals with the access to information they’ve wanted to see all these years, and opens up opportunities to replicate this approach for other hospitals in the region,” said Todd.
While there is an obvious and direct benefit for healthcare practitioners to have convenient and timely access to patient health records and not having to allocate valuable resources to manual processes, better accessibility to data on the patient side is also on the horizon. Committed to expanding the functionality of their PI Healthcare solution, Polar Imaging sees an opportunity to connect patient information with MyChart via ClinicalConnect. This would allow patients to securely access their own electronic health records from participating sites in Ontario.