Surgical Wait Information Management System (SWIMS)  

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The surgical journey for oncology patients at UHN is closely managed to report Wait 2 times. Wait 2 is the amount of time a patient waits for surgery and is measured as the number of days from the date a consent form for surgery is signed (known as the decision to treat date) to the date surgery is performed.  

UHN’s Surgical Oncology divisions use a variety of documents to manage surgical cases and Wait 2 times. Each electronic application or document requires data to be manually entered by administrative staff, much of which ends up being redundant. Administrators can dedicate up to three hours a week inputting data, creating and updating reports, and calculating Wait 2 times for each surgical case.  

Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, Head of Surgical Oncology, had the vision to automate and capture wait times in real-time to allow more efficient and accurate data capture. To help make this project a reality, Dr. Zadeh partnered with Techna and selected UHN’s Gynaecology Oncology division as the team to pilot and champion this project. Working closely with Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, along with Dr. Marcus Bernardini, Division Head of Gynaecologic Oncology, and his team, Techna has successfully developed and deployed the Surgical Wait Information Management System (SWIMS). 

 “Introducing automation of wait-time capture in real-time is a simple concept, yet a revolutionary deviation from traditional practice. Working with the dedicated team from Techna – Kelly Lane, Tran Truong, and Luke Brzozowski – the vision became a reality that is being adopted widely in the various divisions of surgical oncology, says Dr. Zadeh. 

The Surgical Wait Information Management System is a web-based controlled system, which automates and simplifies how surgical data is stored, managed, and reported across UHN Surgical Oncology disease sites. SWIMS eliminates redundant and unnecessary documents and electronic applications, saving many hours of administrative work to reduce data-entry errors and improve the overall accuracy and consistency of surgical data. 

SWIMS has simplified the workflow process for our administrative assistants,” says Dr. Bernardini who is also a clinical lead of the project. “With one platform, they are able to enter all relevant information, and the system allows a simple snapshot of all OR activity within the division.”  

SWIMS provides real-time reporting and can be used to manage surgeries across UHN’s Surgical Oncology and expand to all surgical services.  

“SWIMS is a flagship example of how clinical leadership, combined with professional development efforts inside a hospital – the best sandbox for productization of health technology – fulfills the quadruple aims of medicine: enhancing patient experience, improving population health, reducing costs, and improving work life of those who deliver care,” says Dr. Luke Brzozowski, Senior Director of Techna and Diagnostic Innovation.