Mackenzie Health Leader Receives 2016 Innovation Award for Healthcare Leadership

June 16, 2016

Richard Tam, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Mackenzie Health has been awarded the 2016 Innovation Award for Healthcare Leadership by the Canadian College of Health Leaders (CCHL) at an award ceremony held on June 5, 2016.   The CCHL Innovation Award "recognizes the outstanding capabilities and achievements of a senior executive who has made innovation a focal point of his or her organization's strategy in order to create high impact results."

In his senior role at Mackenzie Health, Richard Tam has led a number of innovative healthcare initiatives including work towards Canada's first 'smart' hospital and the setting up of an Innovation Unit as a 'living laboratory' for testing innovations before diffusion throughout the hospital.
At Mackenzie Health, Richard has spearheaded the Information, Communication and Automation Technology (ICAT) strategy under which several innovations aimed at integrating innovative technology in patient care were launched.   One of the initiatives under the ICAT strategy was the creation of a first of its kind Innovation Unit in Canada in 2014. The 34-bed Innovation Unit acts as a 'living laboratory' where innovative medical ideas are tested and evaluated before being diffused throughout the hospital.  The Unit incorporates advanced technology such as smart beds and other technology-enabled clinical tools aimed at transforming care delivery at the bedside.  Pervasive computing (utilizing computers embedded in everyday ‎objects to communicate information) and ambient intelligence (electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people) are incorporated in the unit to create a contextually aware and personalized experience to anticipate the needs of staff and patients.

The Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2) was also created under the innovation strategy. Launched in 2015, it was established to be a catalyst for disruptive technologies in the healthcare industry through research, education and training.  Mi2 seeks to implement and evaluate innovative and disruptive technologies through collaboration with academic and industry partners.

Last year, Mackenzie Health, under Tam's leadership, also adopted an innovative procurement model for IT and medical equipment called a Managed Equipment  Service (MES),  through which Mackenzie Health will receive innovative technology and medical equipment over several years.  This type of procurement, new to Canada, engages the private sector in a partnership to provide cutting- edge technology to assist in patient care.  

This MES agreement will be used to supply smart technology for yet another innovation under the ICAT strategy, the creation of  Canada's first 'smart' hospital.  Both the existing Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital and the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital will be equipped with advanced technology and a fully integrated ICAT infrastructure.  

This year, under Richard's leadership, the hospital also began implementation of a new electronic medical record (EMR) in which its clinical information systems will be integrated into one system to enable seamless access to patient health records; enhanced quality of patient care and improved flow of information across departments and hospital sites.
Richard Tam has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry and has held senior leadership roles in different hospitals before joining Mackenzie Health. 

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