With Canada's EMR strategy significantly lagging other developed and OECD countries, the CMA has released an investment strategy that it hopes will shift investment focus to frontline patient care.
The CMA document points out that there has been too much of a focus on top-down strategies with too little focus on EMR adoption adoption by physicians and other frontline workers.
Based upon 2005 Ontario Ministry of Health data, 78% of patient visits per day take place in family physician and specialist offices vs. 1% of patient visits in hospital and 5% in Emergency Rooms. Current investment focus in Canada has resulted in the majority of funding being spent in the acute sector.
Given the uneven success in HIT implementation across Canada - specifically in terms of front-line patient care - the CMA considers the new five-year investment strategy an integral component of its effort to transform Canada's health care system so that it is patient-centred.
The CMA's new strategy targets five key clinical and system priority areas for investment over the next five years:
- chronic disease management
- prevention and health promotion
- continuity of care
- patient involvement
- public health reporting
The paper sets three interim goals: the significant adoption of EMRs in ambulatory settings, accelerated exchange of health information and more effective use of EMRs and related solutions.
It also spells out a $923-million investment program to accelerate adoption of EMR systems.
Do you agree with this approach? Should more funding and support be provided to encourage and measure adoption and use of EMRs by frontline clinicians?
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