Annual influenza immunization clinics play a crucial role in a hospital’s battle against the contraction and spread of infectious diseases. With COVID-19, we had to rethink how we delivered our flu vaccinations and store staff records. Our team recognized that a digital health platform would eliminate analog inefficiencies, allowing for more vaccination appointments per hour and increase access for immunizations. Leveraging a digital health platform would save staffing costs, ideally increase vaccination rates, and allow Occupational Health & Safety to both digitize vaccination records and embark on a digital transformation for the department.
We partnered with CANImmunize, an Ottawa-based national leader in vaccination record keeping, to develop a digital vaccination campaign platform. As a result, we were able to offer and provide streamlined vaccination appointments to staff, staff family members, and patients of the Family Health Team clinic. The digital platform was able to help us save time per vaccination which will establish a proposed reduction in clinic hours by 20% going forward, resulting in a 20% reduction in clinic staff costs. Occupational Health & Safety now automatically has the flu data uploaded into employees’ immunization records and our employees have independent access to their digital flu vaccination record. CANImmunize was able to leverage the vaccination platform developed at Bruyère to become the dedicated platform for the COVID-19 vaccine in Nova Scotia and the Yukon.
"OMG!!!!!! I just went on the [CANImmunize] link and booked a flu shot. I am the most untechy person on earth and I did it. Geez, if I can book an appointment anyone can."
"Overall, I find the CANImmunize app very user friendly. I'm glad that it has now been amended to include age so I can prepare the appropriate vaccine ahead of the patient interaction."
"Using CANImmunize for the flu shot clinics is wonderful. Going paperless and having consent and screening done prior to arrival was very helpful with flow. During this difficult time with COVID 19 – the flow is very important to ensure social distancing of patients and to also allow time to disinfect treatment areas properly! This makes for a safe environment – which helps to decrease anxiety for all."
"CANImmunize is an innovative tool that saves time and is user-friendly. It helps patients prepare for their visit by completing their personal health information, providing consent before the appointment, and facilitating health care workers to document with one click on the keyboard."
Undiagnosed hearing loss is a ubiquitous issue that leads to serious social and health consequences for affected individuals. Bruyère primarily serves older individuals (ages 70-79) where 93% experience hearing loss. Our team recognized that untreated hearing loss could be preventing patients from understanding and complying with medical direction provided by their health team, ultimately contributing to negative health outcomes and comorbidities. Outcomes could be as severe as falls and other injuries, decreased quality of life, cognitive decline, or comorbid conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We set out to understand how providing objective hearing screening upon admission could improve patient care and empower patients to address their hearing loss.
In response, we partnered with SHOEBOX Audiometry, a Canadian company in the heart of Ottawa, and piloted the SHOEBOX QuickTest to provide a simple, accurate, and objective hearing screening test that could be completed in less than two minutes. Over a two month period, the SHOEBOX QuickTest was administered to new admissions on our Geriatric Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit, and an overwhelming 74 of 75 patients screened had ‘Reduced’ or ‘Very Reduced’ hearing in at least one ear. The simple addition of a user-friendly digital health app has improved communication strategies between physicians and patients with hearing loss and is setting a new precedent for quality care in our patient population. Bruyère has since scaled the SHOEBOX QuickTest to three unique clinical settings, with plans to complete over 1000 hearing screenings per year.
had reduced or very reduced hearing
had very reduced hearing
had unknown hearing loss
were surprised by their results
"Hearing is fundamental to our health and well-being and an important part of one’s quality of life. Our partnership with SHOEBOX is a game changer in that it enables us to quickly assess the hearing of those we serve and their loved ones to ensure that they are able to communicate their needs to their care providers throughout our programs and services at Bruyère."
"A patient’s ability to hear and understand the care team is a crucial part of implementing our care plans. QuickTest makes sense, by allowing our care team to ensure that their mode of communication is optimized with patients. I’m pleased to be a part of a team at Bruyère that is piloting innovative tools that can have a positive impact on the healthcare system as a whole.”
"I really like this test! It was easy to use, I didn’t have to wait long and my hearing results were right there."
At the onset of COVID-19, Bruyère was faced with the challenge of staff and visitors intending to enter Bruyère’s multi-site hospital and long-term care homes as they normally would. The need to screen employees and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms when entering our facilities was an immediate priority in our response to the pandemic. Bruyère partnered with Macadamian, a global leader in digital health solutions based in the national capital region, to develop the HealthQ platform to screen employees with a set of clinical questions and a dedicated back end that sent failed screenings directly to Occupational Health & Safety for follow up.
The digital health app has been instrumental in reducing high-contact paper-based screening forms and addressing the resulting bottleneck at our doors. HealthQ has played a key role in keeping COVID-19 out of our facilities and actively protecting patients from COVID-19. Based on the work done at Bruyère, the HealthQ platform has been scaled to many other hospitals, long-term care homes, and industries around the globe. Today, HealthQ is running tens of thousands of people through daily COVID health attestations and playing a critical role in combatting COVID-19.
“HealthQ originated as a solution to address an immediate need within your hospital and long-term care homes that scaled to support hospitals, long-term care homes, and various companies around the world as they returned to work while adhering to the government mandated screening first demanded of healthcare organizations. Every good solution requires an early adopter. Someone who will take the initial risk on an unproven approach to managing a new challenge and deploy it within their organization with all the initial bumps and issues that these always come with. Bruyère paved the way for others to follow.”