Located along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada, across from the city of Montreal, the Kahnawake Mohawk Indian reserve is home to approximately 8,000 people. With a 73-bed inpatient facility and extensive outpatient services, Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre serves the healthcare needs of this vibrant community.

Wanting to improve its doctor and patient experience, the hospital set out in March 2020 to digitize the outpatient care journey, but soon faced the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The hospital enlisted CGI’s help in this digitization effort, but once the pandemic reached Canada and forced lockdown measures, it felt it had no choice but to postpone the work.

CGI, however, proposed an innovative remote work approach to help the hospital agilely overcome COVID-19 barriers. The approach involved a tool that facilitates remote design thinking collaboration, including brainstorming workshops and project checkpoints. With CGI’s clear roadmap for proceeding, the hospital decided to carry on with the digitization project.

Building the business case

CGI first helped the hospital secure funding for the work by helping it build a comprehensive business case for the digitization of its end-to-end outpatient care journey. The business case clearly defined current processes, including diagnosis, intervention, and recovery/discharge processes. It demonstrated the improvement of those processes through technology, and outlined the benefits of a new digital outpatient care journey.

Identifying the best solution and driving process innovation

One of the hospital’s biggest challenges was its paper-based operating model. From scheduling, to patient information gathering, to testing and diagnostics, to prescriptions and after-care treatment, the hospital’s processes were largely manual and paper-intensive. It lacked a comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR) system that could automate processes and generate electronic records end-to-end.

To address this challenge, CGI benchmarked numerous available solutions on the market, providing an in-depth functional and financial analysis of each and recommending the best solution, which the hospital accepted. Next, through a highly collaborative design thinking approach, CGI and the hospital developed process innovations that led to significant streamlining and other enhancements to drive a better doctor and patient experience. CGI is now working with the hospital to implement the new solution and processes.

Rebounding and reinventing for better healthcare

By reinventing and digitizing the outpatient care journey, the hospital will dramatically evolve collaboration between healthcare professionals, along with the doctor/patient relationship. Healthcare professionals will be able to share information and documents about patients easily and securely, increasing communication, reducing storage, eliminating extensive file handling, improving staff coordination and productivity, and enhancing billing.

In terms of the doctor/patient relationship, doctors will have one-click access to a patient’s entire medical record, which improves decision-making, decreases the risk of errors, frees up more time to perform value-add tasks, accelerates diagnostics and treatment, and improves follow-up care.

CGI has helped the hospital to drive business agility and its digital transformation through a modern EMR system, as well as through business process innovation. The hospital is now in a stronger position to provide higher quality healthcare services not only throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the years to come.