Michael Caesar
"This achievement is a recognition of the incredible collaboration across UHN to improve the delivery of care and better our patient experiences through building strong capability and capacity in data and analytics," says Michael Caesar, UHN’s Chief Data & Analytics Officer, who made the opening presentation as part of the validation process with the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS). (Photo: UHN)

UHN is the first academic and research hospital network of its size in Canada to earn a prestigious international designation for its analytics capabilities from the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS).

A validation process on November 27 featuring members of departments from across UHN ended with the awarding of a Level 6 distinction for HIMSS' Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM), which is not to be confused with the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).


The Level 6 distinction from HIMSS means an organization is able to demonstrate maturity in use of predictive analytics and ability to turn data into actionable insight. Few other health care organizations around the world have reached level 6 or higher, further enhancing UHN's leadership in healthcare in Canada and around the world.

UHN's Data & Analytics Department, led by Michael Caesar, Chief Data & Analytics Officer,​ began the process to seek the HIMSS designation in early 2023. André D'Penha, Director, Data Strategy, Governance & Analytics, UHN, led the core team as they engaged with 126 stakeholders from 36 areas of UHN over several months to collectively complete the assessment documentation.

A smaller group of stakeholders then contributed to preparing presentations based on HIMSS criteria for validation.

The all-day validation event saw Data & Analytics team members and key stakeholders from UHN's People & Culture, Emergency Medicine, Digital, Cyber Security, Social Medicine, Patient Flow, Privacy and Finance departments make virtual presentations to reviewers in the United States.

Giovanna Cumming, Manager, Performance & Learning with UHN People & Culture, makes her presentation as part of the HIMSS validation process. (Photo: UHN)

Together, they demonstrated how analytics capability across TeamUHN has enabled leaders to make data-driven decisions, improving operational, clinical and financial performance. Following the presentations, the HIMSS review team asked questions as they developed their assessment.

"University Health Network has built a solid analytics program that is becoming a cornerstone of their health care delivery, enabling them to make data-driven decisions that significantly improve patient outcomes and operational efficiency," Julius Bogdan, Vice President, Analytics – North America, HIMSS offered in a summary of the panel's assessment. “The integration of analytics into UHN's clinical and people and culture processes has not only enhanced patient care but also fostered a culture of innovation and continuous improvement."

The cross-functional team's rigorous defence and validation of the rationale for Level 6 exemplifies UHN's commitment to maintaining the highest standards in health care analytics.

"This achievement is a recognition of the incredible collaboration across UHN to improve the delivery of care and better our patient experiences through building strong capability and capacity in data and analytics," Michael says.

"It gives us a clear path for continuous improvement and being well-positioned to responsibly embrace evolving technologies such as machine learning or AI. We can now better chart our progress and benchmark against peer organizations."

Oghenekeno Akpomi, (L), and Karen Sun from UHN's Data & Analytics Department make final preparations for the virtual validation event with HIMSS. (Photo: UHN)

Generating data in the digital age is simple. Practically every system, platform and tool produces it.

But being able to able to use data from multiple systems to make complex and timely business decisions is not simple. It's that vital and painstaking work that was at the heart of this work.

"The skill, expertise, and dedication of UHN's Data & Analytics Department is a key enabler of continued excellence," says Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO. "Their excellent work is a differentiator that enables decision-makers to make better choices for patients and staff.

"This external validation that UHN is doing many things well when it comes to data and the analysis of data is essential to our ability to deliver new and innovative models of care, research and education."

The Data & Analytics team will have an opportunity to celebrate among peer organizations at the HIMSS Global Conference in March 2024.

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