(Strathroy, ON) – The Middlesex Hospital Alliance (Four Counties Health Services and Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital) is among 10 hospital corporations in the region that are going live with a project titled HUGO (Healthcare Undergoing Optimization).    The decision to embark on this journey is an important safety and quality transformation that will result in patient care improvements.

With HUGO the Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) is shifting from paper processes to electronic technology for ordering tests, prescribing medication, and adding bar coding to make sure the right patient is receiving the right medication at the right time. This will make a significant impact on patient safety and our ability to continue to improve on the wonderful care we are already providing to our patients.

On February 19th MHA went live with HUGO at 7:00 am and became the 6th hospital in the region to embark on this exciting transformation. Todd Stepanuik, President & CEO stated “MHA is pleased to be part of the HUGO initiative as it is an integral part of our journey to go completely electronic.  Eventually we will implement an EMR (electronic medical record).”

“Now our hospital physicians will no longer be writing the patient orders for tests or medications on a paper form. They will be using the computer to post the patient orders. It also means that our nurses will be scanning a unique barcode both on the patient armband and on the patient’s medication to ensure the patient is receiving the correct medication and the correct dose at the correct time,” says Becky Simpson, HUGO Clinical Lead.

HUGO will enable continuous quality improvement through standardization, automated technology and simplified work processes.

“We are using state of the art technology to make the ordering of tests possible.  We can bundle orders together into groups for specific problems, called order sets, and these are linked to the evidence for why we are entering those orders for that particular problem.  It is great educational tool that is built into the system”, says Dr. Paul Ferner, Chief of Staff.

“For us this is all about our patients. We always want to provide the best and safest care for our patients. HUGO provides us with additional tools to safeguard the quality of care we provide here,” says Nancy Maltby, MHA Project Sponsor. “For patients and families, we ask for your patience over the next week or two as our physicians and staff are getting used to the new system. You will receive the same excellent care you always do at Four Counties and Strathroy.”

HUGO is being implemented at Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll, Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance, London Health Sciences Centre, Middlesex Hospital Alliance in Four Counties and Strathroy, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital and Woodstock Hospital. By June 2014 all 10 hospitals will be live with HUGO.

About MHA:

The Middlesex Hospital Alliance (MHA) is comprised of two fully-accredited partner sites: Four Counties Health Services and Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital.

A progressive, team-oriented and technologically adept organization of excellence, the MHA is creating a more integrated and seamless approach to treatment by embracing and seeking out partnerships, through collaboration and investing in people. This coordinated approach helps to ensure that a high level of service is provided while reducing costs and continually enhancing quality.

Providing core acute primary and secondary hospital care, the MHA has also been recognized for establishing two notable Centres of Achievement (Orthopaedics and Diabetes Education Centre) that generate local and regional referrals.

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