SunnyCare is a new, leading-edge patient-information system designed to integrate patient information from various clinical systems into a single, easy-to-use application. SunnyCare's initial implementation has focused on patients receiving specialty consultations in the emergency department.
The software was designed by observing how medical residents kept track of patient information to complete clinical work. It was determined that information lay in different electronic systems, leading to inefficiency, recopying and overlooked information. For example, the exact location of a patient in the emergency room can be found in the emergency room information system, but some hospital staff were not familiar with how to access this information, and patients might move without the staff's knowledge. "It is hard to work efficiently when you waste time finding your patients' current location," explains Dr. Edward Etchells, a staff physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine, and medical director of Information Services at Sunnybrook.
The design team determined doctors would go into the computer and recopy the past medical history from an old electronic note onto a new handwritten paper note. This recopying is "a complete waste of time," says Dr. Etchells. Sometimes this information is hard to find, which means the physician must start from scratch.
"This can also concern patients, who may wonder why the same questions must be asked repeatedly."
SunnyCare integrates information from various electronic systems into one place. He describes SunnyCare "as a skin over the inner workings of various hospital information systems." Mobility is an important element of SunnyCare. "SunnyCare Mobile allows clinicians to use their own smartphones to keep track of their patients' current location and recent results while the clinicians are on the go," he says.
"We have implemented SunnyCare Mobile and SunnyCare Consult Notes already this year, and we are continuing to design and develop SunnyCare functions that integrate our electronic ordering systems, our electronic patient sign-over systems, and our electronic discharge summary systems."