Toronto (Oct. 18, 2006) - Women's College Hospital is an academic teaching hospital in downtown Toronto, while 17 kilometres away, Providence Healthcare provides rehabilitation and complex continuing care, long-term care and community programming. Through the power of technology, the two organizations are connecting as the newest members to join the Shared Information Management Services (SIMS) Partnership.

SIMS is the name of the information management and technology (IM/IT) group that is shared between nine health care organizations, spanning family physician practices, hospitals, rehabilitation institutes and home care agencies. The group works on integrating projects across the entire partnership, including confidentially sharing patient information online to help improve referrals, enhance patient safety through the elimination of transcription errors and reduce the amount of time patients have to wait to receive services.

"Providence Healthcare is excited by the possibilities and the potential available to us through our partnership in SIMS," said Mary Beth Montcalm, President and Chief Executive Officer, Providence Healthcare. "The strength and resources available through the SIMS Partnership will allow us to pursue leading-edge information management technology for the benefit of all patients throughout the system, in a way that would not otherwise be possible for us. This is a win-win situation for health care organizations and for the people who come to us for care."

Other members of the partnership include Bridgepoint Health, North York Community Care Access Centre, St. John's Rehab Hospital, Toronto Community Care Access Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network and West Park Healthcare Centre. Each organization is involved with integrating projects across the entire collaboration.

"For Women's College Hospital, joining SIMS is an important step forward in realizing our future as an academic ambulatory hospital. Seamless linkages between institutions providing various parts of the continuum of care is key to improving the health care experience for both patients and providers," said Marian Walsh, Interim President and CEO, Women's College Hospital. "With SIMS, the health care system has the opportunity to become truly integrated for the first time."

At few other places does health information technology move so rapidly, interconnect so strongly or touch so many lives. SIMS is facing the challenges of health care head on by continually finding ways to improve the patient experience through the use of advanced technology. "At the end of the day, SIMS is not about information technology," said Matthew Anderson, Chief Information Officer, SIMS Partnership. "It's about change."Together through SIMS, these nine organizations are transforming the way health care is delivered.

Providence Healthcare has three Integrated Care Divisions: Providence Hospital, one of Ontario's largest rehabilitation and complex continuing care facilities with a particular specialty in stroke rehabilitation; the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence, a long-term care home for 288 residents; and Providence Community Centre, specializing in community clinics, caregiver support and innovative outreach community programs such as the nationally acclaimed Alzheimer Day Program.

New Women's College Hospital achieved independence on April 1st, 2006 after being amalgamated with Sunnybrook Health Science Centre for eight years. In August, 2005,Minister of Health and Long-Term Care The Honourable George Smitherman announced that independent governance would be restored to Women's College Hospital and that the Hospital would become a provincial leader in women's health care, education and research in an ambulatory care setting. Women's College Hospital is a fully affiliated teaching hospital of the University of Toronto.

Bridgepoint Health is an integrated health services organization focused on providing a continuum of care for patients in the GTA who require complex care and complex rehabilitation. Bridgepoint Health comprises Bridgepoint Hospital, Bridgepoint Health Research Institute, Bridgepoint Centre for Living (a soon-tobe-constructed complex care and long-term care centre),Bridgepoint Community Rehab (a not-for-profit community-based rehabilitation service), and Bridgepoint Health Foundation.

North York Community Care Access Centre provides in-home health care, access to long-term placement, information and referral services to residents of North York. We help people of all ages and cultures receive assistance and care in their own homes by working with family members, caregivers and other health care organizations. Whether you're already using CCAC services, or you're facing a need for support services for the first time, call us. We're here to work with you.

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.

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, of whom do not live in our area. Toronto Rehabilitation Institute is at the forefront of one of the most important and emerging frontiers in health care today: rehabilitation science. As a fully affiliated teaching and research hospital of the University of Toronto, Toronto Rehab is Canada's largest provider of adult rehabilitation services, complex continuing care, and long-term care. Toronto Rehab is advancing rehabilitation knowledge and practice through research, education and patient care.

University Health Network is a major landmark in Canada's health care 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.

West Park Healthcare Centre is a benchmark provider of rehabilitation, complex continuing and long-term care services. It cares for those who have respiratory disease, lost a limb, had a stroke or experienced another neurological condition, as well as for those who have a chronic illness, or who have had a severe musculoskeletal injury. The centre's mission is to assist its patients, residents and clients to overcome their health challenges to live their fullest lives possible.

Through the provision of high quality patient care, teaching, research and innovative, evidence-based practices, West Park Healthcare Centre strives be an invaluable contributor to the health care system in Ontario.

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