To be successful in Canada with Health Information Technology including EMRs, we need to get back to basics. This is not about getting projects completed or getting treasury departments and bean counters off the backs of those who need to deliver on commitments. This is about care for Canadians and making sure that we use our resources well. In summary, extracting clinical value for the benefit of patients (unfortunately an often forgotten stakeholder in this equation).
The following is an excerpt from a just published article that I wrote for The National Post.
National Post - April 12, 2010: It’s hard to know exactly how many dollars Ottawa and the provinces have spent so far on the grand plan to bring electronic health records (EHR) to Canada’s health-care system. Supported by Canada Health Infoway, the federal-provincial agency promoting EHR, a rough count suggests the total to date runs to at least $2-billion, with much more to come. The last federal budget alone committed another $500-million. As Terence Corcoran stated in a recent column, “EHR is one of those great blue-sky ideas that seem sound and logical.” The objective is to have built an electronic health record for every Canadian — from prescription history to hospital visits, from family doctor records to major surgeries. As a physician and long time proponent of the use of information technology in health care, I am frustrated by the lack of progress on EHR, despite the billions spent.
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