2021 Women Leaders in Digital Health: Annette Stelmachuk

Annette Stelmachuk, RN, Clinical Application Analyst, Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance

We received constant positive feedback from our providers about Annette’s leadership, strong work ethic, great support, and determined spirit. Leading by her actions, Annette serves as an example of excellence for future women health leaders.

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) was established in 2003 and is a voluntary collective of four hospitals (Clinton Public Hospital, St. Marys Memorial Hospital, Seaforth Community Hospital and Stratford General Hospital) that provides care across the continuum of acute and community-based services. Additionally, Alexandra Marine & General Hospital shares EMR technology and support resources with HPHA and the combined hospitals total 260 inpatient beds in Western Ontario. As with many hospitals, the effort to move from a paper based clinical care documentation process to a 100% digital model has many challenges ranging from clinician reluctance, complex workflows with outdated technology and a wide variety of clinical specialty and departmental requirements. Annette has been both a leader and significant contributor to the success of this project.

Over the last year, amidst COVID-19 and shortages in staff where Annette also helped with direct patient care, she provided front line support for the HPHA Physicians’ adoption of electronic documentation across all facilities using modern, customizable technology. Her expertise ensured note templates fit the needs of the organization’s clinicians and she readily made herself available to answer questions and hear suggestions for improvement from them. Her efforts directly led to the creation of over 9,000 digital records over the last 12 months and a near 100% adoption rate of the electronic documentation process by physicians.

Her knowledge and skillset from her time on the floor as a nurse has afforded her the opportunity to build lasting relationships with many physicians, ancillary resources and community leaders. Additionally, during her time on the floor caring for patients Annette was exposed to many different applications, this experience compliments all workflow improvement initiatives resulting in an improved workflow for providers and ancillary resources working within or feeding information to the electronic documentation applications being implemented.