Deployment of ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer to more clinicians provides access to COVID-19 reports

April 16, 2020

Ontario Health's Digital Services (formerly eHealth Ontario), the Interim and Transitional Region (Toronto) (formerly Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network) and OntarioMD have been working together to connect more Ontario clinicians to hospital reports, lab results in Ontarians' digital health records in the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer. Clinician access has to this valuable patient information has become of vital importance during the COVID-19 pandemic when clinicians need to now as soon as possible if their patients have contracted the virus.

OntarioMD, as Ontario Health's digital health delivery partner, has deployed the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer to more than 1,500 Ontario clinicians, 400 of which are in the Toronto Transitional Region. The efficient deployment approach has been to bundle several services together in a ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer Bundle for the convenience of clinicians.

This bundle of digital health services provides clinicians with several provincial digital health services:

        • ONE® ID account (Ontario Health) - Login credentials for easy and secure access to digital health services
        • ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer (Ontario Health) – Secure access to a web-based portal that provides real-time access to patients' digital health records
        • ONE® Mail (Ontario Health) - Secure email service for health care professionals
        • Privacy & Security Training (OntarioMD) – Complimentary online training to educate clinicians on their obligations as health information custodians and best practices to keep patient health information private and secure while using provincial digital health tools

The ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer Bundle supports Ontario's goal to build a connected, sustainable public health care system that will improve access to care and centre it on the needs of the patient. OntarioMD's efficient bundling and change management methodologies for primary care clinicians have been a key success factor to facilitate and spread the adoption of the bundled services for busy clinicians and adoption among primary care clinicians continues to grow to all parts of the province.

"I have found the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer very useful in my clinical practice. Accessing the viewer is quick, simple and straightforward. It has improved patient care by adding to the information available at the point of care. Whether it be tracking down publicly funded prescriptions written by a colleague, reviewing a consultation note from a distant hospital, or reviewing investigation results otherwise unavailable to me, I have been very happy to incorporate this tool into my practice. The support we have received from OntarioMD has been instrumental in making the ClinicalViewer available to many of my colleagues within my FHO," said Dr. Geoffrey Grieve, a family physician in Peterborough.

Better, more connected tools for frontline providers that enable access to patient records stored across multiple health service providers is one of the five pillars of the Ontario Government's Digital First for Health strategy to provide better, faster care for Ontarians. Provincial clinical viewers, like the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer, have been identified as required digital health tools for Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) to support integrated care delivery. The strategy also emphasizes the importance of privacy and security in its Digital Health Privacy and Security Policy.

Increased adoption of clinical viewers is an expectation for OHTs during the first year unless they have access to the relevant provincial assets by other means such as through electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Ontario has two main provincial clinical viewers – ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer and ClinicalConnect. OntarioMD has recently completed a successful pilot to give clinicians access to ClinicalConnect from their EMRs and is hoping to expand access through EMRs to the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer.

The three partner organizations learned valuable lessons such as identifying the optimal onboarding requirements and efficient processes for satisfactory adoption outcomes during this ongoing initiative. These lessons are helping them and others involved in digital health delivery and adoption expand digital health tools across Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinicians interested in signing up for the ConnectingOntario ClinicalViewer Bundle can contact for more information and to get started.