Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation
Skip to footer

London Health Sciences

The four letters of improvement: London Health Sciences Centre reduces Medication Adverse Events

When you read the word ‘hugo’, do you think of Victor Hugo and Paris? Hugo Chavez and Venezuela? For a federation of Canadian hospitals, HUGO means Healthcare UnderGoing Optimization--and it has done just that.

“Working collaboratively with Cerner, our HUGO project has been able to see a reduction in adverse medication safety events in our hospital patients,” said Glen Kearns, CIO of Ontario, Canada-based London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), a two-hospital, 926 bed organization. Adverse medication safety events range from the incorrect timing of dosages to the incorrect medication given.

LHSC implemented HUGO on May 27, 2014. The below chart shows the dramatic change in Medication Adverse Events per month at one location. The month before HUGO’s launch, there were 224 Medication Adverse Events. By June, it dropped to 166. In August, the number plummeted to 125 – a nearly 45% decrease in four months. Across the group implementing HUGO, there was an average 34% drop.

That 45% drop in numbers at LHSC coincided with a jump in demand for more data. “People now want more electronic information,” said Kearns. “People see the value of electronic orders. Now we need to continue with Cerner to get the balance of our information and our other processes fully electronic - to hardwire in safety.”

The hospitals implementing HUGO are all based in Ontario. It includes London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, and six other Thames Valley hospitals. Together, they form a federation that share a single Millennium footprint. They have been in partnership with Cerner since 1995, and recently extended that partnership through 2026. “The organization rallied behind that,” said Kearns, “and I feel that we have Cerner’s long-term commitment to help us achieve - from a patient perspective - what we want to deliver.”

This most recent achievement, the HUGO project, was an extensive 14-facility CPOE and Closed Loop Medication Administration implementation. It successfully deployed across Ambulatory, Emergency Department, and Inpatient venues on code level 2012.01.13, and recently upgraded to 2012.01.30.

With more than 1,100 providers currently connected across 239 clinics, covering more than 2,300 acute care beds, the federation is rapidly improving its patient safety and care quality through Cerner supported workflows. “It’s that balance between achieving a standard of care for our patients,” said CIO Kearns, “which speaks to quality and safety, and enough information and analytics about our patients to be able to treat them in a very personalized way.”

That personalized treatment contains strong quantitative data – including 45% fewer medical adverse events in four months. The gains by both LHSC and Cerner prove that healthcare is undergoing optimization – HUGO. For some Cerner clients, those four letters spell improvement.

View All Client Achievement Stories
Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.