It took 19 months of planning. It impacted 34 health facilities, including hospitals and long-term care homes, which depend on its function. And it took seven hours and 300 cascading activation steps to get it up and running. But by 12:30 p.m. on April 14, 2018, a new patient/resident registration system was working for all Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) facilities in and near Saskatoon. It was a really big deal. But for visitors and patients it was almost like it never happened.
“Our goal was to make the transition between old and new registration systems as seamless as possible,” Director of eHealth and Health Information in Saskatoon Lori Chartier said. “We do over 1,500 registrations a day within Saskatoon’s three urban hospitals alone. We knew we had to get the new registration system up and running as quickly as possible because it touches so many people and is such a fundamental system for everything else we do.”
“Registration is the master patient index for all the other systems that care providers depend on for their patients,” Operational Lead for Sunrise Enterprise Registration (SER) Joe Bichel explained. “Everything from ordering lab tests, x-rays or treatments can’t work until the registration system first creates the patient profile. This project was so complex because of the number of interfaces between so many different systems.”
The new registration system replaces a system that was more than 17 years old and had reached its functional capacity. There are a lot of benefits to having SER in place. Not only has functionality greatly improved, it is also the same system that was launched in Regina and area facilities just over a year ago, allowing the SHA to continue its efforts standardizing processes. SER also offers future possibilities that weren’t an option with the old system, such as bedside registration, express registration in emergency and maternal care, and even pre-registration and self-check-in for some outpatient clinics.
“The first month has gone really well,” says Bichel. “We have fewer issues every day as people get familiar with the system. Registration staff are doing a fantastic job at mastering the new system, while still managing to get clients registered in a timely way. Our project team was very committed to this project and worked hard to implement a system that will help us well into the future.”
“I’m so proud of the team that completed this implementation,” says Chartier. “This was one of the biggest projects we’ve ever been involved in. It touched so many people – not only the 600 staff who use the system to register clients, but also every one of our 8,000 Sunrise Clinical Manager users. Everyone did an amazing job.”