Durham College (DC) announced today that its applied research partner, Bykart Software Ltd. (Bykart), in conjunction with the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, has received the prestigious 2016 Quality and Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO). The award was presented at a ceremony hosted on November 16 by CQCO in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario, and co-sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society – Ontario Division.
Bykart is being recognized for its Chemotherapy Appointment Reservation Management (CHARM), a revolutionary new software system, developed in partnership with DC, which is fundamentally changing the way care is delivered to cancer patients.
When Bykart approached the college about working together in 2011, CHARM, originally developed in 2009, required significant upgrades to move its enterprise-class health care application framework beyond the chemotherapy clinics for which it was initially designed. Through collaboration with student and faculty researchers at DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE), Bykart was able to deploy a suite of integrated, health care application services to complement CHARM’s existing functionality and simplify integration into existing hospital software.
The framework was then implemented at the Odette Cancer Centre and the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Clinic, and the results were remarkable. They included:
- An increase in the number of patients treated.
- Reduction in unplanned over-time, which proved cost-effective as well as boosted morale among staff.
- Savings in the cost of training since staff were involved throughout development of the product.
“CHARM was developed by a dedicated team with the desire to deliver a home-grown, cost-effective software solution to health care organizations, and its tremendous success proves that this is possible," said Thane Fitzgerald, director of development, Bykart. “Our work with both Durham College and the experts at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have resulted in an award-winning application suite that has been deployed at the Odette Cancer Centre and the Louise Temerty Breast Cancer Clinic. The real reward, however, is that we were able to equip staff with a system that enables them to deliver services more efficiently, thus improving the overall quality of care for people living with cancer.”
Specifically, ORSIE supported the project by delivering a unit test suite for each functional area of the new system for quality assurance; transitioning the existing database structure to a new database platform, and developing several web service interfaces to support access to the application by mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
“DC is proud to offer top-quality applied research facilities and resources led by a talented team of faculty and student researchers,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC.
“Applied research opportunities not only provide an excellent platform for teaching and learning, but enable the college to be involved in leading-edge projects that support the advancement of other industries – in this case, health care. We offer congratulations to Bykart and the Odette Cancer Centre for their success and commitment to enhancing cancer care in Ontario.”
The annual Quality and Innovation Awards encourage and recognize initiatives that have led to significant improvements to the delivery of cancer care for patients across Ontario.
Earlier this year, Bykart was also awarded the 2016 Edmond Odette Prize for Innovation from the Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.