Toronto (Nov. 14, 2004) - What do you get when you cross IT for a specialized rehabilitation facility with IT for social support services and a network of hospitals? You get more than 11,500 health-care workers who will be able to access patient records confidentially online, providing care in a more seamless, timely fashion.

To improve the coordination of its health-care services, St. John's Rehab Hospital, an Ontario leader in specialized rehabilitation, joins the IT partnership established earlier this year between the Toronto Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and University Health Network (UHN).

"This new partnership will be of great benefit to our patients. It will make it easier for us to share confidential patient information so that they can receive the best care possible, when and where they need it," explains Malcolm Moffat, President and CEO of St. John's Rehab. "With this new partnership we can speed up patient referrals and reduce administrative costs, while always respecting patient confidentiality. We know that good things happen for our patients when health care facilities work together like this."

To start, the three organizations will collaborate on establishing a shared technology service that supports the health-care information needs of the respective organizations. By sharing patient information, health-care workers will have a better idea of the availability of community services and will be able to more readily discharge patients that no longer require hospital care, freeing up beds and reducing wait times.

"This initiative offers health-care professionals at all three organizations access to important clinical information about patients, enhancing their decision making and helping streamline patient referrals," says Matthew Anderson, Chief Information Officer for UHN and CCAC and recently appointed to the CIO position for St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital. "It introduces another part of the health-care continuum into the integration of information management systems."

The partnership between the three organizations supports the Ontario Ministry of Health's initiative to provide a continuum of care by establishing integrated services and health-care teams.

Among the benefits St. John's Rehab will realize from this initiative is access to strategic information management expertise on a real-time basis and access to additional resources in areas such as project management, technology and computer support services.

"With St. John's Rehab in this partnership, client information can be exchanged between acute care, cancer care, CCACs, long-term care facilities, community providers and now rehab," adds Camille Orridge, Executive Director at the Toronto Community Care Access Centre. "This ability to exchange information across the continuum will go a long way towards enhancing client care."

About Toronto Community Care Access Centre

The Toronto Community Care Access Centre provides health and social support services to residents living within the geographical area of the old City of Toronto. The community we serve is complex and challenging in its ethnic/cultural diversity and great variations in economic circumstances, ranging from great wealth to circumstances of poverty. We are located in a dynamic urban centre with the largest number of hospitals in the country and we are the largest referral site for patients from Toronto hospitals, 2/3 of whom do not live in our area.

About St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital

St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital is an Ontario leader in providing specialized inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services for adults recovering from multiple traumatic injuries, organ transplants, amputations, cardiovascular surgery, strokes, complex neurological and orthopaedic conditions. The Hospital is also the site of Canada's only burn rehabilitation program.

About University Health Network

University Health Network is a major landmark in Canada's healthcare system and a teaching partner of the University of Toronto. Building on the strengths and reputation of each of our three remarkable hospitals, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, UHN brings together the innovation, talent and resources needed to achieve global impact on the health care scene and provide exemplary patient care.

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