Tireless physician bridges two sites – and two worlds

Hospital News – Physician Profile

Talk to Dr. Nikila Ravindran for a while and you’ll wonder if she’s discovered a way to squeeze a few extra hours into a 24-hour day.

A General Gastroenterologist at Mackenzie Health since 2017, Dr. Ravindran has a bustling outpatient practice through her office in Vaughan and provides both inpatient and outpatient care at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. When not performing her clinical work, she can often be found teaching the next generation of physicians. And if that weren’t enough, she’s also the new vice president of Mackenzie Health’s Professional Staff Association.

How does she get it all done? “Through sheer force of will,” she says with a laugh.

Will may play a small part, but it’s clear Dr. Ravindran is deeply committed to her work — and to Mackenzie Health.

She joined the staff here after working in Calgary and at two big teaching hospitals in downtown Toronto. Her practice there was more academic — in fact, she has an Adjunct Clinical Appointment at the University of Toronto — and that allowed her to support undergraduate medical students. It was meaningful work she loved.

When the opportunity to move to Mackenzie Health came up, Dr. Ravindran was intrigued: “Mackenzie Health would allow me to shape my practice the way I wanted,” she explains. What’s more, the University of Toronto said she could maintain her academic appointment, which meant she could keep teaching. “It was the best of both worlds,” she says.

Combining community and academic medicine has unique advantages: “The students have all these questions, so you have to stay abreast of all the new things that are happening to be able to answer them,” she says.

Embracing that kind of continuous learning has also helped Dr. Ravindran leverage Epic, Mackenzie Health’s Electronic Record Management system. From improving communication between care providers to reducing prescription errors, Epic helps drive better patient outcomes. It even connects to Dr. Ravindran’s in-office software for greater efficiencies across her entire practice.

And while she had used the technology at other hospitals, Dr. Ravindran found Mackenzie Health’s Epic “build team” — our dedicated group of system specialists – was really open to her ideas for improving the tool. “I’ve been able to work with them to modify screens for easier use in my practice,” she says. “They’ve been very responsive.”

Of course, Epic’s robust connectivity is enabling Mackenzie Health’s two-hospital model — a model Dr. Ravindran is excited to be a part of. “The opening of Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital has provided me with the opportunity to be on the front lines of momentous and positive change,” she says. “It will certainly improve care for my patients.”

That unshakeable dedication to her work isn’t the only way Dr. Ravindran is ensuring Mackenzie Health’s success. She recently made a powerful personal gift of $25,000 to our $250-million Ultimate fundraising campaign, and she’s been an enthusiastic participant in our annual Strides for Mackenzie Health event.

Why does she go above and beyond for exceptional care in our community? “Mackenzie Health is my home and I’d really like to see it succeed,” she explains. “Contributing time and energy — and money, if I’m able — shows my commitment to that and hopefully inspires others to do the same.”

Not surprisingly, Dr. Ravindran’s hard work is getting recognized. She recently received a Kudos President Award of Excellence for her compassionate care and strong leadership. “I wasn’t expecting to get this award, so I’m really humbled,” she says. My work at Mackenzie Health would not be possible without the support of my physician, nursing and allied health colleagues. I feel very lucky to be part of this team.”