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CHARM wins 2016 Innovation Award

November 17, 2016


CHARM developed to address scheduling and communication challenges.

On Nov. 16, 2016, the Odette Cancer Centre received the 2016 Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario (CQCO) for their software development, Chemotherapy Appointment Reservation Manager (CHARM) and its positive impact for healthcare providers and the patient experience.

A team at Odette developed CHARM in an effort to address the scheduling and communication complexities that come with an increasing patient population. CHARM is a first-of-its-kind software in Ontario that addresses these issues in many ways, such as optimizing appointment scheduling, enabling patients to self-check-in, and recording and communicating a patient’s status in real time at each step of treatment with the patient, but also between healthcare providers.

The software allows sharing of patient appointment and drug information between nursing and pharmacy departments, which helps to ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment, with shorter wait times. CHARM also eliminates the need for patients to access multiple systems within different locations in the hospital as it operates as a one-stop data kiosk for patients to complete registration, surveys and print identification armbands.

This development has optimized the use of resources and time, improved patient communication and provided a safer treatment environment. Key outcomes of this innovative technology have been a reduction in average wait times to 30 minutes or less for chemotherapy treatment, along with a 90 per cent decrease in the number of phone calls between the nursing and pharmacy departments. Ultimately, CHARM has enabled processes that are more patient-centred by reducing unnecessary wait times and by freeing up staff time to spend on patient care.

Developed in coordination with cancer centre staff across disciplines dealing with chemotherapy, pharmacy, and information technology, this innovation responds to the changing healthcare environment and the evolving needs of an increasingly complex cancer system.

Recipients of the CQCO Innovation Award are selected based on a specific framework, where innovation involves new and unique processes, products or organizations that are bold, experimental and far-reaching. The innovation should result in proven positive impact to patients, processes and outcomes.

The Quality and Innovation Awards are sponsored by the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario, Cancer Care Ontario and the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. For more information, visit and

The CHARM team in the Odette Cancer Centre