HUGO Goes Live

Woodstock Hospital has launched a new electronic record keeping system designed to ensure patient safety.

Woodstock Hospital is taking strides to improve patient safety with the launch of a new digital record keeping system.

Healthcare Undergoing Optimization or HUGO eliminates the need for physicians to write out paper forms for tests and medication. Doctors are now placing orders for their patients' tests and medication directly into a computer.

In addition, patients' wristbands and medications now carry barcodes that nurses and staff read with a scanner and match to the patients computerized files. 

"It allows all medication to be given via a computer so that you're not having to decipher handwriting and it does automatic checks for dosage," said Patricia Blancher, the HUGO Lead at the hospital.

"HUGO will change many things from the patient perspective," Blancher said. "Their information, if they've been here or any HUGO hospital, will be pre-populated in our emergency department."

"All their allergies, all their previous medications will all be ready for them. We'll just have to verify that [the records] are still correct, but it will speed up that admission process," Blancher said.

Gerald Hagan, a Woodstock Hospital patient said he likes the HUGO system.

"It's much safer for the patient and safer for the staff because they aren't going to make a mistake and neither are we," he said.

Natasa Veljovic, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Woodstock Hospital said the hospital has invested, "under a million dollars this year," on the HUGO system.

"The current investment this year is $700,000, but we're looking at multiple other investments as well," she said. "The digital conversions are expensive"

"We've got a lot of new hardware and software, licensing, education, technology and servers, so when you consider that whole bundle of acquisitions it's quite a large number. It adds up," Veljovic said.

HUGO launched in Woodstock on February 19 after a year of preparation. The hospital is one of ten across Southwestern Ontario in the process of making this transition.

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