A worldwide first with role profiles at Cornwall Hospital

At Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH), there is a continuous need to explore innovative ways to improve efficiencies and both recruit and retain human resources. Read how Role Profile has helped people who cover more than one job to see the information that they require during any given shift, presented in a way that provides the most user-friendly experience.


Hospitals across the world are facing a severe health worker shortage. Stress or burnout from COVID-19, retirements, and a competitive hiring environment have contributed to labor pressures.

At Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH), a 180-bed community-based acute care hospital of 1,300 staff and 180 active physicians, there is a continuous need to improve efficiencies and both recruit and retain human resources.

Not only has a strong digital foundation positioned the hospital to adapt to environmental factors and the growing needs of its community, but CCH’s innovative healthcare environment is strengthening its ability to attract and retain professionals and improve workflow efficiencies.

While the healthcare worker crisis is a global one, in rural areas of Canada, such as some of those in the catchment area of CCH, the pain is more acute. A lack of staff in those areas means that many have to work in multiple areas and cover several roles to provide the necessary patient care. For instance, many of the hospital’s emergency physicians frequently take shifts as hospitalists or resuscitationists.

With this need in mind, Oracle Health has designed solutions that allow people who cover more than one job to see the information that they require during any given shift, presented in a way that provides the most user-friendly experience.

Role Profile functionality means that these users no longer need to be assigned unique login credentials for each role or be switched manually by members of the clinical informatics (CI) department. They simply select their role profile for the application session upon login. This might not sound like much, but on average the hospital’s CI department at CCH previously spent more than 10 hours every month manually switching profiles, along with plenty of troubleshooting and handling last-minute requests from physicians. When time, resources—and above all, patient care—are of the essence, every little bit helps.

Not only has the role profile functionality made switching profiles easier from a technical standpoint, but the user experience drastically improved. That’s because now the same user can have different and unique user experiences tailored to suit what they’re doing within the EHR at any given time.

“The role profile functionality is targeted primarily to make it easy for application users who wear multiple hats for their organizations to do what they need to do on any given day,” says Clayton Anderson, senior product manager of clinical privacy at Oracle Health. 

“When we first rolled out the role profile functionality, CCH eagerly realized that it would allow their people who wear multiple hats to easily switch between roles and go about their work. They no longer needed to coordinate with their CI department ahead of time or troubleshoot during unusual hours; the role profile functionality simply let their care providers get back to using the EHR and taking care of people.”

Today, more than 20 physicians are using the role profile functionality in the Oracle Health EHR at CCH, including Dr. Lorne Scharf, a family and emergency physician and occasional hospitalist at Cornwall Hospital. Dr. Scharf has also provided coverage in the hospital’s labor and delivery unit, taking care of newborn babies, and attending high-risk deliveries. Performing these different roles involves interfacing with the Oracle Health EHR in different ways.

“On any given day, it’s possible that I will work in the emergency department, examine a newborn baby in the case room, and go to a resuscitation code on the hospitalist floor. The role profile functionality has made working in these various roles easier by providing me with tailored profiles that I can easily toggle between without real-time support from our CI department. This has been a great feature and gives me complete independence to log in and out of the sections of the EHR that are most relevant to the patient I am taking care of. This saves me time, and ultimately benefits our patients," says Dr Scharf.

CCH’s initiative to partner with Oracle Health in testing and rolling out the new functionality is a worldwide first and is indicative of the hospital’s penchant for prioritizing new and innovative ways of using technology and resources. Today, CCH continues to work closely with Oracle Health to advance the role profile functionality for the benefit of all partner organizations using it. 

“It’s always appreciated when we can work with our partner organizations like CCH who understand the value of trialing new technology with users who stand to benefit from it,” says Anderson. “Often there is a fear of getting started due to the unknown or change in general, but the Cornwall team was able to identify a struggle their users were experiencing and proactively engaged with us to understand if the new role profiles functionality could help. At the end of the day, a successful partnership is only as good as the people partnering together.”

Published:November 27, 2023

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