Building a Community of Geniuses
E.B. White once wrote that “genius is more often found in a cracked pot than a whole one.” Indeed, it is most often true that tales of veritable genius begin with a problem needing to be solved.
The true beauty of ICT is that it provides people and organizations with never-before-seen tools that can help solve just about any kind of problem – tools that originate from places far outside the ordinary, and that allow our world’s true innovators to use their imaginations and achieve what many deem impossible.
A couple of years ago, ITAC began work on an awards program that would celebrate these people and organizations who use technology in innovative ways to solve a problem, drive efficiency and improve overall operations. The Ingenious Awards celebrated its first ever cohort of winners this month, on June 14, at a gala in Toronto – and what a group it was.
In this issue of ITAC Online, you’ll read about the Pointe-de-l’Île Community Health Centre who implemented a remote patient monitoring (RPM) system to increase nurse productivity dramatically. You’ll read about the Ontario Telemedicine Network and how it’s completely revolutionized healthcare for patients living in rural and remote areas of the province. Finally, you’ll learn about the Globe and Mail’s Catalyst Program, which improved the quality of the paper’s online product and is helping with the organization’s shift into the online world. Our three other Ingenious Award winners will be profiled in next month’s newsletter.
We will also be publishing an Ingenious Awards magazine in September, which will be circulated across the country as an insert in the Globe and Mail. Stay tuned to ingeniousawards.ca for that. And remember that the Call for Entries for the Second Annual 2012 Ingenious Awards will be upon us before we know it. It’s never too early to start preparing your entry…
If you’d like to learn more about all six 2011 Ingenious Award winners, you can watch a one-minute video summarizing each project here: ingeniousawards.ca/winners.
You can also see a selection of photos from the June 14 gala here: ingeniousawards.ca/photos.Tell us your thoughts on this story
Pointe-de-l’Île Community Health Centre
Winner in the “Large Public Organization” category
Located on the eastern tip of the Island of Montréal, Pointe-de-l'Île is a primarily industrial area that is home to 200,000 residents. Fifteen per cent of them live below the poverty line.
The Pointe-de-l'Île Community Health Centre is responsible for providing a full range of healthcare services for this neighbourhood. Each year, its requests for at-home health services increase by 20 per cent. In a province where healthcare costs account for 53 per cent of the annual budget, providers have found it increasingly difficult to provide Pointe-de-l'Île residents with the healthcare they need.
“We simply were not receiving enough funding from the government to provide the level of service our community needed,” said André Gagnière, Executive Director of the Pointe-de-l'Île Community Health Centre.
In January 2009, the Pointe-de-l'Île Community Health Centre introduced an innovative technology-based program to help its patients living with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Using remote patient monitoring (or RPM) technology, the Health Centre's goals were to double the number of patients managed per registered nurse, and to cut in half the number of home visits required by each registered nurse. And they did just that. Nurses now manage 60 patients per week, equating to a 167 per cent boost in productivity. Furthermore, they reduced the number of home visits by 80 per cent—well above target—saving the healthcare system $450 per patient. The system saw a full return on investment in only one year—well ahead of the original target of three years.
Most importantly, patients have reported a better quality of life for their families and themselves, due to their ability to manage their own conditions. They find the online system user-friendly and they feel more secure at home, better informed, and ultimately, empowered by the technology.
“This is a great use of technology, and it’s a great area of concern in this country as we watch healthcare costs continue to increase,” said Ron McKerlie, Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Government Services, and of this year’s Ingenious Awards judges. “They made it incredibly easy for elderly people, for seniors, to use and adopt technology to replace the in-home visits,” Ron said. “And it’s something that we can use right across this country as we try to figure out how to manage down the costs of healthcare in the years to come.”
Meanwhile, all along the key issue for André has been accessibility.
“We didn’t want to refuse any referrals from hospitals, doctors, nurses, anyone. So we have increased the number of users by a lot,” he said. “And it’s working so well that we’re now beginning discussions with our regional board about extending our services to other establishments in Montreal.”
Learn more about the Pointe-de-l'Île Community Health Centre here: www.cssspointe.ca.
Ontario Telemedicine Network
Winner in the “Small-to-Medium Size Public Organization” category
Some 2.6 million Ontarians live in rural and remote areas and many require specialized medical treatment of some sort. However, only 9.4 per cent of physicians are located in these areas. While the province of Ontario has established different programs throughout the 1980s and 1990s to address this issue, healthcare costs have continued to rise well into the new millennium, calling for a new and innovative solution.
The Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) was created to develop and support telemedicine solutions that enhance the access and quality of healthcare for patients living in these areas, as well as to inspire adoption of telemedicine solutions by healthcare providers, organizations and the public. To do this required innovation at many dimensions of information and communications technology: networking, real-time video conferencing, use of picture archive communications systems, real-time monitoring, first- and second-level support systems. OTN even developed its own software capable of creating a specialized referral management and scheduling system.
“In healthcare, information technology is transformational. It’s the underpinning of the kind of system we want, and an enabler in terms of where we want to go,” said Ed Brown, CEO of the OTN.
And yet it’s really on the patient level where Ed sees the network’s highest value.
“Patients don’t have to travel – which means a lot when you’re sick – they can bring their family to appointments, the service really feels like it’s coming from a team, they’re receiving care quicker, and so on,” he said. “It’s a very customer-focused model and patients just love it.”
Today, more than 1,000 sites are seamlessly connected via this dynamic virtual private network (VPN) and are proactively monitored from OTN's network operations centre. OTN provides hundreds of users with up-to-date event information, resource scheduling, conflict resolution and communications services using open-source software and web-based interfaces.
Every day, hundreds of Ontarians now use telemedicine to receive care from clinicians who are practicing hundreds of kilometres away. OTN has evolved into the world's largest video conferencing network, providing state-of-the-art care to hundreds of communities, and helping provide care to more than 125,000 patients annually. Surveys reveal a 94 per cent patient satisfaction rate, and one of 93 per cent among physicians.
“They combined networking with imaging, scheduling and videoconferencing technologies to really make a difference for the healthcare business,” said Andrew Dillane, Group CIO, Ranstad Canada Group and 2011 Ingenious Awards judge. “In an independent study of a telehomecare project, they found a 65 percent decrease in average hospitalizations, 72 percent decrease in admissions, and 95 percent decrease in walk-in visits. The results speak for themselves.”
In 2009-2010, the use of telemedicine in northern Ontario alone saved more than 45 million kilometres of patient travel and more than $18 million in travel costs. OTN pilot programs have shown specialist wait times reduced from six months to four weeks for diabetic screening, and from six to 18 months down to 10 days for dermatology consults. Through an emergency-based telemedicine program, nearly 2,000 stroke patients in distant communities who could not otherwise have access to treatment received care from stroke neurologists.
Learn more about the OTN here: www.otn.caTell us your thoughts on this story
The Globe and Mail’s Catalyst program
Winner in the “Large Private Business” category
With a weekly readership of approximately one million, The Globe and Mail is Canada's most widely read national newspaper.
But as digital technologies evolve and permeate all aspects of our lives, the newspaper industry has had to undergo dramatic changes—one of which is finding ways to truly interact with and engage readers.
In late spring of 2010, The Globe and Mail hired a social media and online community-building firm to help the newspaper develop a strategy for un-precedented public engagement. The strategy would revolve around a series of in-depth stories the Globe was set to release that fall called, "Canada: Our Time to Lead."
The Globe asked its partner to do two things: (1) improve the interaction between readers and journalists, and (2) improve the quality and quantity of online commenting on globeandmail.com. Their solution was to bring together a group of readers to form an online community influential enough to create this change.
Under the name, "The Catalyst Program," the project successfully created a community of nearly 4,000 online forum members (or "Catalysts"), including thought leaders, accomplished professionals and industry influencers—nine per cent of whom commented on stories actively, while 38 per cent contributed regularly. Total online comments topped 5,000, and some individual articles received more than 1,000 comments alone. Meanwhile, more than 30 Globe journalists posted in the online forum, and the current waiting list for the next Catalyst Program sits at roughly 3,500.
“You’ve got a company in an industry that’s going through a vast amount of change. They’re trying to move from a paper world to an online world, so in some ways, they’re really fighting for the future of their industry,” said Ron McKerlie, Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Government Services and 2011 Ingenious Awards judge. “They found a way to engage journalists and individual readers – or, catalysts – to work together, to create a better experience and they’ve used technology to get there. They figured out a way to move from one medium to the next, while at the same time actually improving the quality of their product for their readers.”
All of these figures far surpassed the organizations' expectations for the project, and Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse called the program "the most important journalistic endeavour the Globe has undertaken this year."
Learn more about the Catalyst program here: www.theglobeandmail.com/community/digital-lab/who-are-the-globe-catalysts/article1739121Tell us your thoughts on this story
July 12, 2011
September 20 - 21, 2011
September 27, 2011
For a full event listing, and to register for ITAC events, go to: itac.ca/event_cal
Doug McCuaig Named ITAC Chair
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) has named Doug McCuaig, Canadian President of CGI Group Inc, incoming Chair of ITAC for the 2011/2012 term. He succeeds outgoing Chair Robert Watson, President and CEO, SaskPower. Doug has served on the ITAC Board of Directors since 2008 and on its Executive Committee since 2009.
ITAC Names Louis Savoie of Bell Canada the 2010/2011 Volunteer of the Year
Years ago, ITAC created two Public Sector Business Committees – federally in Ottawa and provincially in Toronto – the goal being to bring together our member community’s top professionals in the realm of selling to government. Louis Savoie of Bell Canada is currently the longest standing Chair of the ITAC federal Public Sector Business Committee ever. He is also Chair of the Committee’s Executive, meaning he takes the lead in driving our broader procurement strategies forward. He has helped guide our member community through some of the toughest files we’ve worked on over the past several years – from Converged Network Services, to a Software Supply Arrangement that’s currently on the street, and more.
Congratulations to Louis Savoie, Senior Vice-President, Enterprise Account, with Bell Canada, winner of the 2010/2011 ITAC Volunteer of the Year.
Auditor General Releases 2011 Status Report, Chapter Focuses on Large IT Projects
On Thursday, June 9, the Office of the Auditor General released its 2011 Status Report. Chapter 2 of the report, "Large Information Technology Projects" reviews five of seven large IT projects that were previously audited in 2006. The report reads:
The report also reviews regulation by Health Canada of the safety of medical devices. Access this chapter, titled "Regulating Medical Devices - Health Canada," here.
Harper Government Re-tables Budget 2011, Confirms Commitment to Digital Economy Strategy
This month, we saw the two major events in setting out a government’s priorities, not only for the coming year, but for the coming next few years – the Speech from the Throne and the tabling of the June 6, 2011, Federal Budget. As expected, neither the Speech from the Throne nor the Budget were much different from what had been announced prior to the election. The Conservative government was elected with a majority largely by promising to stick to these previously announced plans.
It is useful, however, to recap those elements that are of interest to Canada’s ICT industry and Canada’s digital economy. Both the Speech from the Throne and the Budget place significant emphasis on innovation. Both reiterate the government’s intention to release and implement a Digital Economy Strategy.
Read ITAC’s complete response to the Speech from the Throne and June 6 Budget Speech here: http://itac.ca/media_details/2118.
To read ITAC’s response to the March 22 Throne Speech and Budget, click here: http://itac.ca/site/media_details/1993.
ITAC Continues to Collaborate with PWGSC on Software Licensing Supply Arrangement
After several months of close collaboration with the federal government on a new vehicle for purchasing software, Collaborate with Public Works and Government Services Canada released a Software Licensing Supply Arrangement on February 1, 2011.
While the initial “pilot” phase for this SLSA is well underway, ITAC continues to work with PWGSC to make the SLSA as mutually beneficial to both industry and government as possible.
Subscribe to the WCIT 2012 in Montreal Newsletter
In October of 2012, the 18th World Congress on Information Technology will take place in Montreal, Canada. The theme of the congress is “The New Digital Society,” an event that will explore fulfilling the promise of the Digital Age.
The industry’s foremost thought leaders, senior government officials, academic and international institutions and global media will converge in Montreal to discuss how the world can continue to benefit from the information technology and communications technologies.
The WCIT 2012 Organizing Committee invites WITSA members' to subscribe to the WCIT 2012 Monthly Newsletter.
You are requested to subscribe to this newsletter and encourage your members to also subscribe:
ESABC Releases Draft of Stewardship Plan, Launches 45-Day Consultation Period
The Electronics Stewardship Association of British Columbia (ESABC) has released their draft Stewardship Plan for 2012-2016. ESABC is an industry-led, regulated electronics stewardship association which was established in 2006 by Electronics Product Stewardship Canada and the Retail Council of Canada.
The draft plan covers the second five years (2012-2016) of the operation ESABC, in accordance with the requirements of Section 6 of the BC Recycling Regulation. It also addresses the expansion of the Program to include additional selected Phase IV products set out in Schedule 3, Section 2.2 of the Recycling Regulation commencing July 2012.
Other News and Events
The Catalyst Canada Honours - October 18, 2011, in Toronto
The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates individual champions of women in business. Recognizing that what’s good for women is good for business, these exceptional leaders are personally and visibly committed to the advancement of women and serve as powerful role models for Canadian corporate leaders.
Dinner Chair: Bill Downe, President and CEO, BMO Financial Group
When: 6:00 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Dinner and Ceremony, 9:00 p.m. Evening Concludes
Where: The Fairmont Royal York, 100 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario