Dr Theal is the Chief Medical Information Officer and a staff Gastroenterologist at North York General Hospital (NYGH) in Toronto, Canada. Dr Theal is the physician lead for the eCare hospital information system enhancement project at NYGH, which has won six national awards for innovation, quality and safety of patient care since 2010, and enabled NYGH to reach Stage 6 on the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM in 2011. eCare also won the prestigious HIMSS Nicolas E. Davies Enterprise Award of Excellence in 2016, the pinnacle award in healthcare IT for substantially improving patient outcomes and value.
Dr Theal and his team became the first in Canada to integrate regularly-updated evidence into physician order entry workflow. Subsequently, Dr Theal conducted outcomes research demonstrating a reduction in inpatient mortality because of using this system. To share this success with others, Dr Theal conceived the Canadian CPOE Toolkit, which was funded by Canada Health Infoway to provide a nationwide resource free of cost to Canadian hospitals. With over 55 member organizations to date, it shares a 400+ page guidebook and a growing multi-contributor library of over 1,500 evidence-based order sets to reduce implementation cost and improve quality of CPOE (Computerized Provider Order Entry) systems across the country.
As a recognized expert in the design and implementation of advanced hospital information systems to improve patient care, Dr Theal has given invited presentations to clinicians, administrators and policy makers in 11 different countries. He has also served as an advisor to more than 80 hospitals, as well as several public health authorities and private companies in Canada and internationally. He is the physician lead of the newly formed provincial Hospital Information System Adoption and Benefits Team in Ontario, Canada. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Minister’s Medal Honouring Excellence in Health Quality and Safety, and in 2010 he received the national COACH Community-Based Physician Leader/Innovator of the Year award. Dr Theal holds an MD from the University of Toronto, with fellowships in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, and Therapeutic Endoscopy. He completed an internship in Health Informatics at Harvard University.