Island Health official says organization not opposed to review of IHealth program

NANAIMO – But Dr. Martin Wale, Island Health deputy chief medical officer, says the timing isn't right for an external review of IHealth.

The timing is not right for an external review of IHealth, according to Dr. Martin Wale, Island Health’s deputy chief medical officer.

Wale said Island Health is not opposed to an external review, but he doesn’t believe the timing is right and there would be massive risks to stopping IHealth now.

The electronic health record system, which rolled out earlier this year, is being implemented in Nanaimo first before being rolled out to north Island hospitals, Cowichan, the west coast and finally Victoria.

Island Health needs to learn from the difficult process it’s had in Nanaimo, according to Wale, who acknowledges it has been difficult.

Recently, New Democrat MLAs, along with Dr. David Forrest, president of Nanaimo’s medical staff association, called for an independent, expedited and external review of the $178-million electronic record system.

“It’s a really complex, difficult thing to do, putting in a system of this nature given the complexity of health care and the size of the hospital. We would like to learn from that process before we repeat it,” he said, adding if an external review is done now it would reduce resources on site to support physicians and increase the pain.

He also said there would be significant risks to patients in suspending IHealth while an independent review happens. All the lab tests, X-rays, drugs – everything related to patient care – is linked into this process, according to Wale, who adds if it’s a part-paper system you don’t know what’s in the electronic record, you don’t know what’s on paper, you don’t know where that paper is gone so it’s more difficult to get a complete picture of what’s happening with the patient.

Wale says Island Health has confidence in the system, but also called it a big and complex process.

The range of things that can potentially trip people up is huge, he said.

He said Island Health is working with physicians on an individual basis to improve their ability to use the system and there are supports available, including a help line.

He also said the health authority has become aware over the past four weeks that physicians at NRGH have been getting tired with the added complexity of the new system.

Wale said measures have been put in place to reduce the number of people coming through the hospital, and in getting people discharged more quickly so the number of patients being looked after has gone down, and there has been a focus on recruitment for hospitalists and in internal medicine.

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read