The Yukon Medical Association (YMA) condemned the territory’s new system for sharing medical records and recommended that the service be suspended and replaced.
WAN, which represents a group of physicians from the Yukon, passed a resolution at its annual general meeting on November 5.
Doctors gave the electronic health record system – launched on June 1 – a failing grade.
The resolution says implementation of the new system, called Meditech Expanse, has failed in Yukon hospitals and “has compromised patient care.” The motion called for a pause in the use of the computerized physician ordering system and the search for an alternative system.
Dr Ryan Warshawski, president of YMA, explained that the new system was being implemented as part of a well-intentioned government program called 1health that sought to fill gaps in patient health records in different facilities and jurisdictions. Although he said YMA supports unified record keeping, the current system is ineffective.
He described doctors spending 35 to 45 minutes per shift keeping records with the new system – time, he said, could be better spent caring for patients.
Warshawski said the system’s user interface was poor and the training of medical staff who used it was insufficient. He said there had also been insufficient consultation on rolling out the new system and now believes the government is proceeding on the basis of sunk costs rather than the merits of the program.
The new record keeping system was brought up in discussions between MPs and representatives of the Yukon Hospital Society in the Legislative Assembly on November 16.
Yukon Party MP Brad Cathers acknowledged the early challenges of getting the system in place, but said he was happy to see it move forward. A chairman of the board of the Yukon Hospital Corporation said work on the system continues and its goal is to collect and store information to provide Yukoners with the best possible health outcomes.
Along with the challenges discussed at the AJM meeting, Warshawski said territorial health workers face conflict and, in some cases, even violence related to government policies regarding the COVID-pandemic. 19 and the vaccination mandates.
While it was safe to mention that the vast majority of patients are kind and a privilege to care for, Warshawski said some people think the hospital is an acceptable place to voice political grievances.
He said some situations have become tense and violent and the difficulty this creates for healthcare workers cannot be overstated.
âWhatever your perspective, the hospital is a place where people recover,â he said.
While he said he was in favor of the COVID-19 vaccination and had fully immunized himself, Warshawski said he was concerned that in some cases the approach of unvaccinated people reinforces polarization and the bad behavior it can engender. He said everyone should be treated as an individual rather than a member of a group, and healthcare workers and unvaccinated people are no exception.
Contact Jim Elliot at [email protected]
Yukon Health and Social Services