‘Epic’ countdown has begun at three Eastern Ontario hospitals


Excitement was building as Deep River & District Hospital (DRDH), Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) and Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) conducted final preparations for the November 5, 2022 launch of the Epic health information system at each hospital.  

The three hospitals are asking the public for patience during the transition to the new system. “Putting Epic in place is a big change for staff and patients with many benefits, but it will take time to adjust,” said Brittany Rivard, KDH’s Chief Financial Officer/VP Operations and Site Lead for the Epic implementation. “Please be patient with the staff at each of our hospitals as they adjust to this new system.” 

Clinical Manager Michael Paglia and Jennifer Sanger, RAI Coordinator at Winchester District Memorial Hospital, check out the new portable Workstations on Wheels.

After go-live, it is expected that some processes, such as registration, documenting notes, and appointments may take a bit longer. Plans are in place to reduce disruptions and make the transition as seamless as possible. For example, each hospital has reduced the number of appointments in some areas to ensure that staff have time to care for each patient while learning to use the new system.  

Epic replaces dozens of electronic and paper systems, making every patient’s medical information available in one secure place online. It provides a comprehensive digital health record for every patient, enhancing standardization, information sharing, and continuity of care. Simply put, Epic gives people better access to their own health information and more seamless care from their providers. 

Hospital CEOs Frank J. Vassallo (KDH), Janna Hotson (DRDH), and Cholly Boland (WDMH), have one message: “We are ready! Preparation has been underway for many months with extensive staff and physician training, new equipment purchases, and improvements to the IT infrastructure. Thank you to our teams for your commitment to continually improving patient care.”

When the switch is flipped, Epic will bring many improvements and benefits for patients, families, staff and physicians. It will:

  • eliminate paper-based patient health records
  • replace dozens of electronic systems that don’t always ‘talk’ to each other when patient information needs to be shared across teams and services
  • ensure patient information is available in one place and save staff and physicians time looking for things like test results and medication history
  • eliminate the need for patients to repeat their health history at every interaction or visit
  • give every member of a patient’s care team access to their health record so that critical care decisions can be made safely, and in collaboration with the patient
  • make it easier for patients to access their medical record using MyChart – they will be able to view test results, see their medical history, diagnostic test results, upcoming appointments, lists of allergies and medications, and even educational materials.

The three hospitals now become part of a digital network of nine hospitals in the Ottawa region using the world-class health information system.  

It’s going to be Epic!


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