Innovation at Niagara Health

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Niagara Health is on the leading edge of developing and using innovative systems.

Some of these innovations may not be as readily visible as the latest state-of-the-art equipment might be to patients and yet it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to care.

New partnerships, coupled with advancements in technology, allow our healthcare providers to better diagnose, treat and care for their patients. Here’s a few examples of how we’re doing this right now:

Integrated Comprehensive Care program

We are receiving a lot of positive feedback from patients and families about our Integrated Comprehensive Care program. More than 1,200 patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Congestive Heart Failure have participated in the program since we launched it 3 years ago. We’re improving patients’ experiences, reducing Emergency Department visits and readmissions and decreasing their time in the hospital.

At-home dialysis treatments

Thanks to technology, patients are able to safely manage their dialysis treatments at home - in some cases reducing hospital visits to once a month from three times a week - while our providers monitor their treatments remotely.

Mental health in the community

Teaming up with Niagara paramedics, one of our Mental Health nurses treats people in the community, avoiding Emergency Department visits and coordinating follow-up care as needed.

Ontario Telemedicine Network

We use the Ontario Telemedicine Network to connect people through video with their healthcare providers, therapeutic groups and other programs—providing more prompt care and reducing the need for patients to travel.

Niagara Health Navigator

We are creating Ontario’s first digital health ecosystem – the Niagara Health Navigator. The Navigator will connect patients to their health data and care providers, both in and outside the hospital, in ways that are not currently possible. The platform will be secure and protect patient privacy.

Technology for emergency pediatric cases

We are the first Ontario hospital to introduce video technology that allows our emergency teams to partner with McMaster Children's Hospital to get immediate help for our youngest patients.

Other Innovations

Here are just a few examples of how our innovative systems are enhancing the patient experience and supporting our healthcare teams

  • Patient satisfaction survey results in real time

    Niagara Health has launched a real-time patient satisfaction measurement tool that includes an escalation process for timely resolution of concerns. This technology, developed by Niagara Health’s Information and Communications Technology team, allows trained volunteers to visit patients in their rooms using a hand-held tablet to complete the survey. The volunteers ask patients five questions covering areas such as whether a doctor or nurs...
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  • Raising Awareness of Never Events

    It was all in the timing. Years before the pan-Canadian list of Never Events was released in September 2015, Niagara Health in Southern Ontario had already begun looking at ways to advance its safety culture. Never Events, named for being incidents that should never happen, can include instances of child abductions, suicides or patients receiving the wrong surgery. Niagara Health recognized that even one Never Event was one too many. Wi...
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  • Patient in-house transportation program reduces wait times

    Niagara Health's new portering system was launched in 2013 to make patient transfers within the hospital faster and smoother, whether for a diagnostic test, procedure or other need. Niagara Health worked with Connexall (an integrated technology solution company) to develop an automated notification system that allows all hospital staff involved with patient transports to follow a patient’s status or movement along the route in real time o...
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  • Smartphone app connects doctors

    Another innovative tool used by our physicians makes it faster and more secure for them to communicate with one another on their smartphones, ultimately resulting in more timely care for patients. Working with IBM and Vocera Communications, Inc., Niagara Health designed and deployed this innovative smartphone app that allows Niagara Health physicians to instant message each other through their personal smartphones. The application lets...
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  • Wait times & other information in real time

    Niagara Health was one of the first hospital systems of its size in Canada to provide its community with real-time Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre wait times and other information about usage. As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the patient experience and access to care, wait time information is available on Niagara Health’s website and on TV monitors at our sites allowing people to make decisions about how they access c...
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  • I-EQUIP partnership

    The Interprofessional Education for Quality Improvement Program functions as an extension of the classroom, providing an opportunity for students from Brock University and McMaster University’s School of Medicine – Niagara campus, as well as leaders and front-line staff from Niagara Health to work together on a variety of quality patient-care initiatives at our hospital and other healthcare organizations. This program has expanded since it wa...
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