Clinicians from across Ontario have been recognized with an OMD Luminary Award for their outstanding contributions to advance digital health. Read their stories and get inspired!
Dr. Elise Azzi, Family Physician, Findlay FHO, Ottawa - Dr. Azzi quickly became a digital health champion by adopting and promoting HRM® (Health Report Manager), OLIS, and the i4C Dashboard. She continuously re-thinks processes and how to improve her interactions with patients. She assists her colleagues to move forward with adopting digital products and practices. Dr. Azzi designed the clinic’s website and developed an eForm that she sends to her patients through Ocean. When the patient responds, the response is updated in the EMR allowing for a streamlined process. This process also provides documentation of follow-up being needed or not.
Dr. Justin Di Donato, Family Physician, North West Toronto FHG, Woodbridge - Dr. Di Donato is a digital health pioneer. He was the first physician to adopt EMR-integrated Digital Health Drug Repository (DHDR) that gives him seamless real-time access through his certified EMR to dispensed drugs covered under the Ontario Drug Benefits (ODB) program, dispensed narcotics recorded in the provincial Narcotics Management System (NMS) and COVID-19 vaccination data. He was also the first physician to adopt eForms through his EMR. His efforts have provided OMD with valuable lessons to inform a wider rollout of these two initiatives to clinicians across Ontario.
Dr. Farnaz Ghorbani, Family Physician, York Medical FHG, Richmond Hill - Dr. Ghorbani has leveraged OMD i4C Advisory Service and Dashboard to improve her practice and achieve her quality improvement (QI) goals. She has shared her proficiency in primary care quality improvement (QI) and has become a champion in supporting her fellow family physicians with their QI initiatives. Dr. Ghorbani is a strong proponent of the i4C Advisory Service and Dashboard and volunteered to share her experience as a speaker at the OMD Educates: Digital Health & Virtual Care Day conference.
Samantha Gupta, Quality Improvement Decision Support Specialist, Central Brampton FHT, Brampton - Samantha Gupta has done exceptional work leading all steps of the implementation of the Ocean tool at two locations of the Central Brampton Family Health Team. The implementation included integration with our OMD-certified EMR. This project greatly helped to improve the patient experience (e.g., by communicating important messages and resources to patients faster electronically), while streamlining the process for internal teams to distribute and gather information more efficiently (e.g., COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire sent automatically with every booking via our EMR). Samantha also trains and supports staff to use the tool.
Dr. Ilana Halperin, Clinic Director, Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto - In December 2020, Dr. Halperin was appointed Physician Lead for Digital and Virtual Health at Sunnybrook. Her experience and expertise with virtual care greatly helped to simplify the transition to virtual care during COVID-19 for Sunnybrook's Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinic. Under Dr. Halperin's leadership, the whole process from the gestational diabetes education class, remote monitoring of glucose values, physician and dietitian review, insulin initiation and titration, and postpartum follow-up care was provided virtually using tools integrated with our certified EMR. Patients rated rate their virtual care experience as good or excellent (93%) with a preference to continue virtual visits in the future (84%). Dr. Halperin is a regular speaker at conferences and events on virtual care and diabetes technology, and has also presented to Parliament.
Dr. Dina Kulik, Founder and Director, Kidcrew Paediatrics, Toronto - Dr. Kulik is a virtual care pioneer and role model. She is the founder of Kidcrew, a paediatric clinic in Toronto that provides comprehensive primary, consulting and after-hours paediatric care. Dr. Kulik directs the clinic of about 40 physicians, allied health care professionals and their support staff, which uses a certified EMR to manage patient information. The clinic has provided care for over 50,000 patients all over Ontario. Since COVID-19, many offices had closed their doors to in-person contact making it challenging for some patients to access regular services. Under her leadership, Dr. Kulik and her team provide excellent care using digital health tools.
Dr. James Lane, IT Physician Lead, Georgian Bay FHO, Stayner - Dr. Lane has been instrumental in leading the Georgian Bay FHO and the South Georgian Bay area towards remarkable integration of their digital infrastructure. He led the merging of EMR databases in 2009 to create an opportunity to pilot ePrescribing, subsequently helping to leverage this platform to integrate providers across multiple organizations within the region. Today, local physicians and allied health professionals have EMR access, and through our Ontario Health Team, we are expanding our reach to other health and community organizations in the region.
Dr. Marco Lo, Digital Co-Lead, East Toronto Family Practice Network, Toronto - Dr. Lo has been instrumental in the design and implementation of the East Toronto Family Practice Network Ontario Health Team digital strategy. He has provided primary care leadership for several key successful IT innovation priorities, including the expansion of the Michael Garron Hospital Hypercare communication platform enabling rapid communication between family practitioners and hospital-based specialists to improve patient care, and the implementation of the Ocean eReferral platform integrated with a certified EMR. He is also helping to facilitate primary care uptake of digital tools.
Dr. Meera Shah, Digital Co-Lead, East Toronto Family Practice Network, Toronto - Dr. Shah has also been instrumental in the design and implementation of the East Toronto Family Practice Network Ontario Health Team digital strategy. She recognizes the importance of the digital divide and is a strong advocate in helping her patients in Thorncliffe Park to access digital tools and bandwidth to enable better care.
Dr. Karim Vellani, Founder and Medical Director, MediCall, Toronto - Dr. Vellani used a certified EMR to create MediCall, a home visit and virtual care service to deliver an efficient, accessible care model for Ontario patients. Using the EMR's suite of embedded digital tools (video, audio, secure messaging, questionnaires, online booking), combined with home visits, Dr. Vellani has leverages the EMR to deliver comprehensive services to patients regardless of technology acumen. Dr. Vellani also used the EMR in a mobile clinic for the Toronto Island community which traditionally had poor access to care. Using OLIS, HRM, lab interfaces and a referral manager integrated with the EMR, a more comprehensive approach is taken to care for the aging island population. Dr. Vellani also created a patient questionnaire for digital colon cancer screening using his EMR. Patients were separated into FIT eligible and colonoscopy eligible and appropriate action and follow-up are taken.
Dr. Meghan Davis – Dr. Davis is a family physician in Hamilton. She is also the Regional Primary Care Lead for LHIN 4 and the Medical Lead, Screen for Life Coach for Ontario Health-Cancer Care Ontario. Dr. Davis endeavours to improve screening rates throughout the region and for under-screened populations. She worked with OMD and other organizations to develop EMR-specific cancer screening guides to support primary care clinicians to use their EMRs for cancer screening. She advances improved cancer screening rates and cancer care education through social, broadcast and print media, blogging and connecting primary care clinicians with OMD's advisory services.
Dr. Catherine Link – Dr. Link is a cardiologist in Belleville. She led her team of five cardiologists and practice staff through two EMR migrations and set up Health Report Manager (HRM®), the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS) and the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer. She shared the many lessons learned from the EMR migrations with another group of cardiologists and arranged a visit to her practice to see how her team has uses the digital health tools.
Dr. Kim Morrison – Dr. Morrison is a family physician who practices in a Family Health Organization (FHO) and is the Chief of Staff at the Lennox and Addington Community General Hospital. She had a vision to merge three other FHOs and other family physicians to create a team of shared allied health professionals and move everyone to the same EMR. The team has made significant progress toward the vision and patients have found the changes extremely valuable because they have access to a large team of health professionals over a large geography. Most recently, Dr. Morrison became a co-lead for the Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Ontario Health Team, which has more than 60 partners working together to address the community's health and wellness needs.
Shari Comerford, NP-PHC, VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) Canada - Ontario Branch, and Thien Trang, NP-PHC, VON Canada - Ontario Branch
After Shari and other VON NPs and staff saw a demonstration of OMD's Insights4Care (i4C) Dashboard to manage patient populations for preventive care and chronic diseases, and other digital health tools, she understood their value and had the foresight to implement the tools across all VON clinics in Ontario with the guidance and coaching from the i4C Advisory Service.
Thien is the EMR and Digital Resource Lead for VON Canada – Ontario. He worked with OMD to adopt the EMR and implement the digital health tools to 16 NPs and many more staff across 14 VON clinics and streamline EMR processes. As new digital health tools are implemented, such as COVID-19 tools, Thien provides instruction and support to his team on how to use them.