Doctors at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital have created a computer program that stores patient information in real time.


Doctors at Sacré-Coeur Hospital do their rounds with iPads in their hands to use the system that gives them instant access to patient files. ((Canadian Press))

Physicians do their rounds with iPads in their hands and have instant access to patients' files, including medication use and lab results.

The intensive care unit at Sacré-Coeur has been using the system for the past two years, and several other Quebec hospitals are now looking to buy the program, called SEMi.

"It's way quicker that way than it was before," said Dr. Martin Albert, who uses the program on his iPad every day.

"Now all the information is in a single system, so it has simplified the way we're getting the information," Albert said.

'It's way quicker that way than it was before'

—Dr. Martin Albert, critical care and internal medicine, Sacré-Coeur hospital

The Quebec government has promised to install an IT network that stores patient information in all of the province's hospitals by 2016.

Albert said one of the main reasons he and his colleagues developed their own software was the length of time it was taking to set up the government's umbrella network.

The provincial system, OACIS, is already being used at some Montreal-area hospitals, and Sacré-Coeur is meant to join the network by the end of the year.

Albert said the program already being used at Sacré-Coeur will still be useful when the bigger network is installed because it contains specialized information designed for intensive care units.