How electronic health records (EHRs) support efficiency and in-the-moment information for pathology at LHSC

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March 22, 2019

LHSC’s pathology department is a tertiary care centre, seeing patients and specimens from all over South West Ontario. In the scope of this large practice, access to electronic health records (EHRs) through the cSWO Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™, supports the pathologists to get a more complete picture of a patient’s current health status.

Dr. Matt Cecchini, a Pathology Resident at LHSC noted that it can be extremely useful to get clinic notes, an operative note, or imaging results through ClinicalConnect - enabling him to get all the relevant data together to make a diagnosis. Dr. Cecchini indicated that there are many benefits of accessing EHRs, including improving work flow efficiencies and reducing the duplication of tests, which can ultimately speed up a patient’s treatment.

In one case in particular, the EHR made a marked improvement in the patient’s diagnosis, explains Dr. Cecchini: “We had a fine-needle aspiration biopsy of a lung mass, and in that case we had a very limited sample and it was challenging to make the diagnosis because there wasn’t enough material to do further molecular testing. But using ClinicalConnect we identified that there was another biopsy of the same mass performed at another hospital, so we requested that material and did the additional molecular testing and we found that the patient had a change that allowed them to respond to a new generation of targeted drugs, and that patient went on to get that treatment.”

“We would probably not be able to give a complete diagnosis if we couldn’t get that information. We might have to phone up the clinician or might have to give a report that left more things in the air,” says Dr. Cecchini.