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Helping patients go "from discharge to in charge" with new "Osler Outpatient" mobile Android app

BRAMPTON and ETOBICOKE, Ontario, June 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Imagine taking charge of your health after your hospital stay, right from the palm of your hands.



On Tuesday, a new Android app, Osler Outpatient, was launched at William Osler Health System (Osler), one of Canada's largest community hospitals with one of the busiest emergency departments in the country.

The free app is an innovation in mobile health care that will transform the post-discharge patient experience for the thousands of people who are treated at Brampton Civic Hospital and Etobicoke General Hospital each year.

Osler Outpatient is the product of the efforts of a team of students from the University of Toronto, 'Team Engage', who won Osler's second annual national student app contest. One of the first of its kind in Canada, the contest challenges students to come up with innovative ways to identify and address what they see as perceived issues in health care through the development of a mobile app.

"As people begin to rely increasingly on information provided through their mobile devices, we recognize that we have an unprecedented opportunity to help patients and families better navigate their care experience," said Matthew Anderson, Osler President and CEO. "We are excited to be launching this new and innovative tool for our patients and families, and provide them with the opportunity to take charge of their care after their hospital stay."

"Congratulations to Team Engage; we were completely blown away by their ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking and thrilled to see their brilliant idea come to life," Anderson added.

Osler Outpatient allows Osler patients to manage their recovery proactively by keeping track of follow up care instructions using the convenience of their smartphones and tablets. The app contains comprehensive discharge instructions, educational material, appointment calendars and medication management tools. It also serves as a guide for when certain situations are considered "normal" and when they may want to consider seeking medical attention for situations that arise after they leave hospital.

"By downloading this app on their mobile devices, patients and families will be able to better navigate their care experience after they are discharged," said Susan deRyk, Joint Vice-President, Patient Experience, Communications and Strategy with the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Headwaters Health Care Centre (HHCC) and Osler. "We are looking forward to seeing how this app can help transform the experience for our patients and families, and bring innovative, patient-inspired care to our community, through technology."

The list of care plans addresses the most common reasons that people seek attention at the Emergency Department, including illnesses like colds, flu, fever, allergic reactions, asthma, infections, kidney stones and urinary tract infections to injuries like burns, cuts, fractures and head trauma.

Team Engage worked hard to finalize the app since the contest ended, while completing their studies at the University of Toronto. The app developers were Cory Blumenfeld, Victor Chen, Haley Liu and Jerry Tang. Zack Fisch, a York University student, joined the group after the contest to work in development and testing.

"We wanted to create an app that would have a meaningful impact on the lives of patients by giving them the tools and resources they need to traverse the road to recovery," said Zack Fisch, Team Engage. "Mobile applications are the next step in the natural evolution of e-health and patient care outside the walls of the hospital. Our team's goal was to improve the overall quality of care provided to patients at William Osler Health System by empowering them to take control of their care plan."

Fourteen teams participated in Osler's national student app contest. A panel of judges decided on the winner based on a number of criteria including originality, impact on patients, user experience, technical function, and more.

Team Engage received a cheque for $10,000 from Rich Smart, President, Fieldpoint Service Applications Inc., an Oakville software and service management provider which sponsored the app contest.

"All the students were amazing in their ability to identify a potential patient self-management need and to create an impressive app to address that need in only 48 hours," said Smart. "Congratulations to Team Engage. They were beyond impressive, producing a high quality product that will positively impact the lives of so many people."

Osler Outpatient is available on Google Play as a free download for Android devices for use by Osler patients.

For more information about Osler, visit www.williamoslerhs.ca.

ABOUT WILLIAM OSLER HEALTH SYSTEM: William Osler Health System is a hospital system 'Accredited with Exemplary Standing' that serves 1.3 million residents of Brampton, Etobicoke, and surrounding communities within the Central West Local Health Integration Network. Osler's emergency departments are among the busiest in Canada and its labour and delivery program is one of the largest in the province. William Osler Health System Foundation builds and fosters relationships in order to raise funds to support William Osler Health System's capital, education and research priorities at Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health & Wellness.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=33394

CONTACT: For more information: Cara Francis Manager, Public Relations and Digital Communications William Osler Health System P: 905-494-2120 ext. 59467 cara.francis@williamoslerhs.ca

Source:William Osler Health System