Canadian Hospital Goes Electronic in the ER; Streamlines Staff Functionality and Improves ER Visibility

Over the last five years, BCHS has invested over $80 million toward system improvements and continue to find new ways to integrate advances in technology, skills and procedures that improve the way health care is provided. PulseCheck ED is used in the main emergency room facility at Brantford General Hospital. 

Before implementing PulseCheck, BCHS tracked patient flow through their ER using paper index cards and handwritten notes that were posted on a large wooden tracking board. This system was updated manually and had the potential to slow the progression of care. As they worked to triage and track patients as well as measure door-to-doctor (physician initial assessment or PIA), the ER staff would manually
track and capture the milestones as they went, then return cards to the big board.

While the system worked, the hospital wanted to best support Ontario’s provincewide strategy to reduce wait times. They also wanted to gain more control over their data in order to improve services and continue to better serve the community. To meet these goals, they would need the ability to capture and document activity
electronically in near real-time.

This meant replacing a hand-written paper-based system; that was familiar to the staff, but fraught with other challenges:

  • Hand-written notes or remarks could be difficult to read
  •  Manual documentation was not readily accessible by all clinicians
  • Index cards sometimes got misplaced, leaving tracking activity incomplete
  • Reporting was unverified and often unobtainable
  •  There were limited opportunities to share facility-wide status with staff or patients
  • The lack of verified reporting made it impossible to support analysis or benchmarking
  • There was a reduced ability to document length of stay (LOS), ambulance offload times or other statistics important to the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)