Strategic Priorities

Leveraging Technology

Select one of the Strategic Priorities below to learn more.


Strategic Goal: Fully utilize the digital health technologies of clinical documentation and the patient portal to support better care and services for patients, residents and family caregivers and strengthen the pathways for adoption of innovative and integrated technologies to support caring for the whole person.

What We Heard from Stakeholders

With new advances in technology, especially in the field of health care, participants in the strategic planning engagement sessions felt strongly about St. Joseph’s focusing on technology as a strategic priority. We heard about the need for St. Joseph’s to fully leverage the foundational technologies now underway (e.g., clinical documentation) to enable better care and advanced analytics for the future.

We heard from participants that we could strengthen the connected system by working with regional partners on patient engagement through the patient portal and using local and provincial technology assets for virtual care, regional capacity building, partnering and education. In order to accomplish this, participants suggested that we grow the capabilities of staff and physicians and structures for measurement-based care, and strengthen pathways for evaluation and adoption of innovative care technologies (e.g., virtual care, e-referrals, imaging and surgical technologies etc.). To support the currency, education and adoption of these foundational and innovative technologies, participants advised that we develop a sustainability strategy.

What we will
accomplish By 2021
  • We will transform our care processes for patients, residents and family caregivers through the implementation of the electronic health record to improve the quality and safety of our health services.
  • We will have implemented a patient portal pilot in the Breast Care Centre and developed a plan for further patient and resident access to their health information electronically.
  • Through the innovation strategy, we will strengthen pathways for evaluation and adoption of innovative care technologies.

New lithotripter makes waves in urological care

The first lithotripter of its kind in North America is helping urologists at St. Joseph’s Hospital lead the way in pinpointing kidney stones with increased precision to improve patient outcomes.

“This lithotripter’s improved image quality is enabling us to target kidney stones more precisely and monitor them more closely as they are breaking,” explains Dr. Hassan Razvi, Chair/Chief, Urology Centre at St. Joseph’s.

Clearer images of the kidney stones ensure the lithotripsy treatment can be stopped as soon as the stone shatters, thus decreasing the length of treatment. If the image reveals the stone is not fragmenting as planned, the urologist can modify the treatment to attempt to enhance its success.

“We perform about 1,000 lithotripsy procedures a year at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which is one of three hospitals in the province with a lithotripter,” says Dr. Razvi. “Offering state-of-the-art technology with this new lithotripter further strengthens our reputation as a centre of excellence for kidney stone treatments.”

A kidney stone forms when substances in urine crystallize in the kidneys. When the stones begin forming they are tiny, but over time, they may grow to be five centimetres or larger. Stones less than five millimetres can easily exit the body through urine with little or no pain. However, when stones are too large to pass on their own, lithotripsy is one of several treatment options available.

Lithotripsy is a non-invasive treatment that uses electromagnetic shock waves to disintegrate the kidney stones into pieces as tiny as grains of sand, which can easily exit the body in urine.

The new lithotripter, the most advanced on the continent, also offers an enhanced table so that, in addition to lithotripsy, it can be used for other urological procedures.

Funding for the lithotripter was provided entirely by generous donors to St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation.

Doctor stands next to patient, who lays on bed
Urologist Dr. Hassan Razvi prepares to perform lithotripsy treatment using St. Joseph’s new lithotripter, the first of its kind in North America.

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