Kemptville District Hospital scores in the top 5 percent of Canadian hospitals for adoption of electronic medical records

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The small eastern Ontario hospital has achieved a significant milestone on its journey toward a completely paperless health information system

Tim Farncombe, Kemptville District Hospital's IS/IT Manager, is pictured with the Workstation on Wheels (WOW).

This is an important advancement in terms of efficiency and patient safety, as it both saves time and removes the risk of transcription and/or typographical errors. -Louis Guilbeault

Kemptville District Hospital (KDH) has just achieved Stage 4 in the internationally-recognized Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) process that charts a healthcare organization’s path through eight stages, 0 to 7, to a fully paperless patient environment.

KDH staff are excited and proud to have reached Stage 4 – only 5.2 percent of Canadian hospitals have achieved this designation. In Ontario, the average EMRAM score for all for acute hospitals is 2.9, and in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), the average EMRAM score for hospitals is 2.02.

For patients, the adoption of electronic medical record technologies means enhanced quality and safety of care.

“Achieving Stage 4 reflects our hospital’s commitment to quality, and demonstrates how we are advancing care for our patients,” explained Louis Guilbeault, KDH’s Vice President of Organizational Performance and Operations.

To reach Stage 4, hospitals must implement computerized physician order entry. This technology enables KDH’s physicians to electronically select medications and diagnostic tests to be administered to each patient. This information is then electronically transmitted to the appropriate department as well as to the patient’s electronic medication administration record (EMAR), which tells the nurses which tests and medications need to be administered.

“This is an important advancement in terms of efficiency and patient safety,” added Guilbeault, “as it both saves time and removes the risk of transcription and/or typographical errors that could occur when physician orders were done on paper.”

Previous steps along the way to KDH’s achievement of EMRAM Stage 4 included the adoption of an electronic medical record system in KDH’s Diagnostic Imaging department and its Pharmacy, followed by further advancements in pharmacy automation, including the implementation of the EMAR system as well as a state of the art automated medication packaging and dispensing machine. This machine facilitates the administration of medications, while providing more checks and balances to enhance patient safety.

Another significant advancement was the implementation of the Workstation On Wheels (WOW) on the inpatient surgical and medical units. The WOW is a medication cart fitted with a computer that nurses use at each patient’s bedside. It enables electronic recording of medication administration, as well as electronic bedside nursing documentation, spelling the end of notes on paper charts.

KDH’s achievement of Stage 4 is particularly impressive considering that the hospital was not even at Stage 1 in December, 2013.

Tim Farncombe, KDH’s Manager of Information Technology, emphasized that, “getting to Stage 4 was a team effort made possible by a huge amount of hard work by our nurses, doctors, Pharmacy and IT staff.”

“In addition, we were supported technologically every step of the way by Anzer, our healthcare software provider,” he added.

Farncombe also notes that all of these technological advancements were made possible by KDH’s participation in the Champlain Alliance of Small Hospitals, with funding from the Champlain LHIN to facilitate EMRAM initiatives at its eight rural hospitals.

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), which advocates for and supports improved adoption of enabling health information technologies through a partnership with HIMSS Analytics, provided advice and guidance to assist KDH in reaching this milestone.

KDH’s next goal is Stage 5, which it aims to achieve by the end of the current fiscal year. “Then it will be on to Stage 6,” said Farncombe.


Kemptville District Hospital is Accredited with Exemplary Standing, the highest ranking bestowed by Accreditation Canada. Committed to building healthier communities, we are a model of hospital-led integrated health services within the provincial health system. Kemptville District Hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in Ontario for both patient and employee satisfaction. We pride ourselves on being a good partner within the system. Kemptville District Hospital provides primary care management services, acute care hospital services, and advanced orthopaedic care.

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Jenny Read
Kemptville District Hospital

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