How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?

13 years.

Why do you want to join the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors?

Digital Health Canada is a critical catalyst to ensure digital health is a key enabler to support safer, faster and better healthcare delivery. I believe in Digital Health Canada’s vision and the collaborative approach to support healthcare transformation. I am extremely excited at the prospect of joining Digital Health Canada’s Board of Directors.  I feel my 20 years of clinical experience, combined with my extensive experience as a strategic and transformational health care leader would bring great value in supporting the evolution of Digital Health Canada’s Strategic Plan.

How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?

Here are some highlights of my work/volunteer experiences that specifically align with Digital Health Canada’s strategic objectives and mandate.

Strategic Objective # 1: Enhance Membership Value Through Network Growth and Connections: At Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), I led a team to grow and expand our membership. Our team, in collaboration with the Canadian digital health community grew membership by over 30% within a year, setting a record for the highest annual number of members. We exceeded the overall growth target by 25% despite a very uncertain marketplace, and increased membership within the health service delivery sector by over 50%, and private sector by over 25%.

Strategic Objective #3: Connect Communities (Digital and Physical)/ Strategic Objective # 4: Implement Digital Business Platform: As the Change Management Lead for The SickKids Epic Health Information System Project, I led the creation and operationalization of the Change Readiness and Benefits Realization strategies/plans in collaboration with the Senior Executive Team, Clinical, Technical, Business, and People Leaders across SickKids. This was the largest clinical transformational project in the history of SickKids. We implemented a new integrated and connected health information system (including a patient/caregiver portal) on June 2, 2018 in partnership with The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and Epic Systems.

Strategic Objective # 3: Empower Professional Development and Advocacy: Since 2006, I’ve supported this strategic objective in the following ways: 1) supported the development of Canadian Health Informatics Association (COACH) Health Informatics Professional Career Matrix; 2) received my CPHIMS-CA certification in 2011 and continue to champion the the value of achieving the certification with the digital health community; 3) support capacity building by being a Digital Health Canada Educational Instructor; and 4) continue to support professional development for emerging professionals and entrepreneurs. Most recently, I was a mentor for the Fall 2018 Digital Health Canada Speed Networking MeetUp event.

What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?

The unique skills, perspectives and contributions that I would bring to the Board is as follows: 1. Front-Line Clinical Experience: Being a member of interdisciplinary clinical teams across the continuum of care and settings (both in a paper based and digitally enabled environments); 2. National and International Strategic Experience: Leading the planning and operationalization of large-scale digital health strategies, governance models, programs, and services. These experiences involved collaborating or partnering with external organizations to facilitate the adoption of digital health solutions. Examples include: establishing pan-Canadian governance structures to support adoption of health information standards; co-chairing Infoway Standards Collaborative National Clinical Advisory Committee; and representing Infoway or Canada at international events/committees/meetings (e.g. ISO Technical Committee [TC] 215-Health Informatics, International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization [IHTSDO], and Health Level Seven [HL7]); 3. Conference/Event Planning: Leading or supporting the planning of international and national digital health conferences/events. Examples include: ISO TC 215 Global Summit III-Connecting with Clinicians; Infoway’s Partnership Conferences and COACH e-health events; 4. Education and Capacity Building: Providing ongoing education and guidance to support digital health capacity building and professional development. Examples include: being a George Brown College Health Informatics Program Advisory Committee Member; speaking at academic institutions and events (e.g. McMaster University, Ontario MD Physician Peer Leader Retreat, Canadian Nursing Informatics Association, eHealth/Infoway Partnership Conferences); conducting Digital Health workshops (e.g. Managing e Health Change, Evaluate to Accelerate); publishing articles (e.g. Healthcare Information Management Communications & Canada, COACH Central); and supporting national digital health hackathons; 5. Consumer & Patient Engagement: Engaging consumers/patients/caregivers in a meaningful way with the planning and implementation of provincial or local healthcare transformation initiatives. Examples include: planning and implementation of SickKids new health information system, and creation of Health Quality Ontario’s inaugural Health Equity Strategic Plan.

Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?

Yes. I have worked as a front line clinician within interdisciplinary teams across the continuum of care and settings (both in Ontario and in the UK). I am also a Child Life Specialist volunteer at SickKids Hospital and rotate amongst various clinical areas.

What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent?

Clinicians, Leaders, Digital Health Entrepreneurs, National e health organizations, Healthcare Institutions, Telehealth

With which Digital Health Canada committees, task groups or activities have you volunteered in past five years?

In the past 5 years, my volunteer experience within Digital Health Canada includes the following: 1) Canada’s Health Informatics Association (COACH) Clinical Advisory Committee Member (2010-2015); 2) Digital Health Canada Educational Instructor for CPHIMS-CA Certification Preparation: Change Management/Clinical Health Sciences/Health Informatics Leadership (2013-Present); and, 3) Emerging Professionals and Entrepreneurs Mentor (2011-Present). Most recently, I was as a mentor for Digital Health Canada’s MeetUp Speed Networking Event in the Fall 2018.

What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?

COACH Clinical Advisory Committee (2010-2015): Provided clinical leadership guidance to advance COACH’s vision and mission; Health Quality Ontario (2015-2017): Prepared and presented to the Board of Directors to seek their advice and approval on HQO’s inaugural Health Equity Strategic Plan. Other (2014-2019): Chaired and/or participated as a member of provincial and local governance committees supporting large-scale health care transformational initiatives (e.g. HQO Health Equity External Advisory Committee, SickKids Epic Change Readiness Committee, Cancer Care Ontario Data & Analytics Operational Readiness Committee).

Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.

There are 5 reasons why Digital Health Canada members should consider voting for me: 1. Champion of Digital Health: I have the passion and the depth of experience to help Digital Health Canada achieve its vision and support the evolution of the current plan; 2. Clinical Voice: In 2005, I transitioned from being a front line clinician to a change leader within the digital health sector. I wanted to ensure the clinical perspective was incorporated with the planning and implementation of digital health solutions; 3. Change Leader: Since 2006, I continue to pursue digital health transformational roles that support the benefits realization of digitization within the healthcare sector (nationally, provincially and locally); 4. Commitment to Digital Health Canada’s Mandate: Since 2006, I have been an active member of COACH/Digital Health Canada. I continue to give back to the digital health community, and support the mandate through volunteering as shared above (e.g. committee participation, educational instruction, mentorship, etc.); 5. Collaborative Leader & Connector: Not only will I bring my digital health experiences and learning’s (both at a system and at a local level), I will also bring my collaborative leadership style and ability to connect with people. This will enable me to have a positive impact and help make a difference.

Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?

Yes. I’ve had my certification since 2011.

Educational Background

1. Ontario Hospital Association Lean Healthcare Green Belt (2016-Present); 2. Prosci® Change Management Certified (2013-Present); 3. Certified Professional in Health Information and Management Systems, CPHIMS, CPHIMS-CA (2011-Present); 4. Health Informatics Certificate Program, George Brown College (2005-2006); 5. Bachelor’s of Health Sciences (Post Graduate Degree), Physiotherapy 1996-1998; 6. Bachelor’s of Science, Kinesiology (Major), Gerontology (Minor), University of Waterloo 1992-1996


Bhavana Patel is a strategic change leader with over 20 years of progressive health care experience, including working as a front-line physiotherapist across the continuum of care, both in Ontario and the UK. She has held transformational leadership roles at Canada Health Infoway, Health Quality Ontario, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Cancer Care Ontario. She is a member of the Pan-Canadian Digital Health Change Management Network, and is certified in CPHIMS-CA, PROSCI ® Change Management, and Lean HealthCare (Green Belt). She has led and supported large-scale complex health care transformational initiatives by leveraging her clinical, strategic, partnership, and quality improvement experiences. Recently, as a Change Management Lead, she provided change and benefits realization leadership for the largest and most complex clinical transformational project to date at SickKids. This multi-year project successfully implemented a new integrated health information system on June 2, 2018 in partnership with The Children’s Hospital for Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and Epic Systems. She also gives back to the community by volunteering as a Digital Health Canada Educational Instructor, and as a SickKids Child Life Specialist volunteer.