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Atlantic Chapter Regional Conference

September 24, 2019

Digital Pathways to Optimizing Patient Flow

Digital Health Canada’s inaugural Atlantic Chapter Regional Conference will take in Halifax on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The one-day conference offers networking and learning for digital health professionals from across the Atlantic Region. To register using Digital Health Canada Member rates, join today.

Conference Agenda for Tuesday, September 24

Time Event
8AM Networking Breakfast
8:30AM Welcome Remarks
8:45AM Opening Keynote: Rethink Aging: Technology is transforming the lives of older adults
Dan Levitt, Msc., CHE, Executive Director, Tabor Village (British Columbia)
Technology is transforming aging by removing the taboos associated with getting older and turning the elderly into technologically empowered influencers. The rapid growth in age-related solutions from health apps and digital health records and on-demand DNA and blood tests, has resulted in: improved health, lower risk of suffering from preventable diseases and a longer life expectancy. What an exciting time to be over 50!
9:45AM International Panel and Presentation: From Tonga to Truro: Applying single patient identifier and unified health record lessons learned from around the globe to the Canadian context?
Walter Hurrell, Chief Information Officer, Health ICT and Data Management, Corporate Services, Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Tonga; Pamela Wyatt, Principal Public Management Specialist (Governance), Asian Development Bank; Chris Nickerson, Management Consultant, Gevity
Gevity has been working on building an RFP in Tonga to implement a national health information system with the goal of improving continuity of care and the flow of patients through the Tongan health care system by creating a national health identifier; creating a single, unified health record; and supporting improved lab/DI ordering and referral workflows.
How is this relevant to the Canadian context? Lessons learned from the Tonga initiative are highly relevant in our provincial healthcare context. Many Canadian provinces are in the process of integrating their patient records to streamline and improve patient flow and continuity of care. This session focuses on the goals and outcomes of the Tonga initiative, focusing on how a single patient identifier and a unified health record helps achieve both organizational efficiencies and a better, safer patient experience.
10:30AM Networking Break and Showcase
11AM Case Study Presentation: Collaborative and Coordinated Care: A Case Study of Technology-Enabled Optimization of Transitional Care
Karen Fisher (Director, Community Partnerships at Bayshore HealthCare) and Michael Millar (CEO & Founder of Verto)
This case study presentation intends to highlight the role of technology to support patient transitions between care settings. The presentation will focus on 1) risk factors that were identified during patients’ transitions from acute care to an alternative level of care, 2) the collaborative process to develop a stakeholder-sensitive solution to mitigate those risk factors, and 3) outcomes from the perspective of patients and caregivers, clinicians and administrators, and process improvements.
11:45AM Networking Lunch
12:30PM Presentation and Panel Discussion: Collaborating on Innovation
Sandra Cascadden, Associate Deputy Minister, Health and Wellness, Government of Nova ScotiaShawn Porter, Director, Public Sector Innovation GarageMatthew So, Eastern Health NL
1:30PM Presentation: Improving Patient Flow for First Nation Community Members – Leveraging Digital Health Tools for Everyone’s Benefit
Jacquelyn MacDonald, Regional eHealth Nurse, eHealth Program Health Assessment and Surveillance Directorate, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Atlantic Region, Indigenous Services Canada/Government of Canada; Karl Mallory, Jurisdictional Lead, Mustimuhw Information Solutions; Sarah Doucette, Operations Manager, Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk
Improving patient flow for First Nations is often discussed in the context of cultural safety, which is certainly valid, and there are examples of advances in this area. However, the growing adoption and use of Digital Health tools and process by First Nation communities also creates opportunities for improvement, such as: Increased capacity for coordinated care across community health, public health, Home Care, and mental health teams within communities prior to referral to a provincially-funded specialist or an admission to hospital; Communication efficiencies between First Nation Health Centre’s Medical Transportation teams and provincial agencies; More, and better, electronic patient-specific health information from the First Nation Health Centre available to physicians to support timely decision making; An ability for Health Centre staff to coordinate with the hospital discharge teams to ensure proper and timely follow up and transition to on-reserve home care services. With the recent and positive trends in adoption of standardized, interoperable digital health tools by First Nations across Canada opportunities like these are now being analyzed and advanced with the goals of improving efficiencies and decision-making for provincially-funded providers, improving patient experience for First Nations community members, and reducing costs across the entire health system by avoiding unnecessary delays and gaps in care transitions.
2:00PM Networking Break and Showcase
2:30PM Presentation: Primary Health-Using Technology to Enhance Access to Care
Katie Heckman, NSHA
Patients in the Digby area of Nova Scotia are faced with a lack of access to Primary Health Care services as a result of physicians leaving this area of the province. In order to help supplement this lack of physician presence, Primary Health Care partnered with Virtual Care to implement an initiative that would allow primary health care physicians to connect to the Digby clinic virtually to conduct their appointments. This not only includes the use of videoconferencing technology, but also a digital stethoscope that allows the provider (located elsewhere) to listen to a patient’s lungs/heart as required. Overall patients and providers have been very satisfied with this method of health care delivery and continue to build upon their current usage, with the potential future opportunity of expanding this across the province to other primary health care clinics.
3:00PM Presentation: Development of a Bed Board to Improve Patient Flow at Health PEI
Heather Diamond, Manager Patient Flow & System Utilization, HPEI; Barb Stewart, IT Consultant with the Clinical Information System, ITSS, Government of PEI
3:30PM Announcement of Winners and Top Three Rapid Fire Presentations – Atlantic Health Datapolooza: Information – Ideas – Innovation
3:45PM Rapid Fire Presentations – Atlantic Health Datapolooza: Information – Ideas – Innovation (top three)
4:15PM Spotlight on the Digital Health Canada Atlantic Regional’s Chapter
4:30PM Closing Remarks



  • Early Bird Rate (for Digital Health Canada Members): $129 (until August 9, 2019)
  • Regular Rate (for Digital Health Canada Members): $179 (after August 9, 2019)
  • Non-Member Rate: $229
  • Student Rate: $50 (limited availability)
  • Special 10-ticket bundle registration: $1250
  • Special 25 ticket bundle: $2900


Sponsorship Opportunities

Support the industry and heighten your organization’s profile as a conference sponsor. Contact events@digitalhealthcanada.com for more information, or download a PDF copy of the sponsorship brochure.


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September 24, 2019
Event Category:


Four Points by Sheraton Halifax
1496 Hollis Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3Z1 Canada
+1 902-423-4444


Digital Health Canada
(647) 775-8555