Canada’s first diabetes-specific medical record

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Diabetes patients of St. Joseph’s Health Care London are benefitting from a new web-based system that allows all those involved in their care to access key medical information anytime, anyplace. Called Web DR (Web-based Diabetes Records), the secure system is a boon to care continuity, effectiveness, efficiency and diabetes research, say experts. 

WebDR group photo

Introduced on June 11, 2014, Web DR is a comprehensive, diabetes-specific electronic medical record (EMR).  With no existing EMRs available to meet the needs of outpatient diabetes programs, the team at St. Joseph’s Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism successfully combined clinical and research work with technology to develop and implement their own. Over the past two years, the team built the new system from the ground up.  

“It shifts us from paper-based charts to an electronic medical record tailored explicitly for diabetes patients,” explains Dr. Tamara Spaic.  “It’s also a researchable database that allows us to easily pull information for care as well as research purposes. Most important, it improves integration of care across disciplines.” 

Heather Reid and Dr. Spaic

Heather Reid, left, health information administrator, and endocrinologist Dr. Tamara Spaic were part of the team at the Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism of St. Joseph’s Health Care London that developed Canada’s first electronic medical record specifically for diabetes – a web-based system that is enhancing care coordination and efficiency as well as diabetes research.

Web DR is simultaneously used by the diabetes specialists, medical trainees, diabetes educators, allied health professionals and administrative staff at the Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinic at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Diabetes Education Centre also at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the Primary Care Diabetes Support Program at St. Joseph’s Family Medical and Dental Centre. All are part of St. Joseph’s Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. Combined, the clinics see nearly 22,000 patient visits a year.