- The Yukon Medical Association has condemned the territory’s new medical file-sharing system and recommended the service be paused and replaced.
- The doctors gave the electronic health record system.
The Yukon Medical Association has condemned the territory’s new medical file-sharing system and recommended the service be paused and replaced.
The YMA, which represents a collection of Yukon doctors, passed a resolution at their Nov. 5 annual general meeting.
The doctors gave the electronic health record system — launched on June 1 — a failing grade.
The resolution says that implementation of the new system, called Meditech Expanse, has failed at Yukon hospitals and “compromised patient care.” The motion called for a pause to use the system for computerized physician orders and investigate an alternative method.
Dr Ryan Warshawski, YMA president, pursued the new system under a well-intentioned government programcalled 1health that sought to remedy gaps in patients’ health records across different facilities and jurisdictions. While he said YMA supports unified record-keeping, the current system is inefficient. He described doctors spending 35 to 45 minutes per shift on record-keeping with the new system could better spend the time he says on patient care.
Warshawski said the system’s user interface is poor, and there was insufficient training for the medical staff using it. He said there was also inadequate consultation on the new system’s rollout, and now he thinks the government is proceeding based on sunk costs rather than the program’s merits.
The new record-keeping system came up in a discussion between MLAs and Yukon Hospital Corporation representatives at the legislature on Nov. 16.
Yukon Party MLA Brad Cathers acknowledged the early challenges with bringing the system in but said he is pleased to see it going forward. A chair of the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s board said work on the system continues. Its goal is to collect and maintain information to give Yukoners the best health care outcomes possible.
Along with the challenges addressed at the YMA’s meeting, Warshawski said healthcare workers in the territory face conflict and, in some cases, even violence relating to the government’s policies surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine mandates.
While he mentioned that most patients are kind and privileged to care for, Warshawski said some people feel the hospital is an excellent place to air political grievances.
He said some situations have turned tense and violent, and the difficulty this creates for healthcare workers cannot be overstated. “Whatever your views are, the hospital is a place for people to get well,” he said.
While he said he is on the side of COVID-19 vaccination and fully vaccinated himself, Warshawski said he worries that in some cases, the approach to unvaccinated people is reinforcing polarization and the bad behavior it can breed. He said everyone should be treated as an individual rather than a group member, and both healthcare workers and unvaccinated people are no exception.
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