Electronic health records in Canada

   Posted by: dhcsoul   in EMR

When will Canadian doctors join the computer age?

In this piece in CBC News In Depth by Robert Sheppard its noted that despite a massive program sponsored by the federal and provincial government (Canada Health Infoway; 6 years; $1.1 billlion) less than 20% of Canadian GP's are actually using electonic IT systems for clinical care.

The reasons of course are many but the one pointed to as a major culprit is money – as in who is going to pay:

“Canadian doctors appear disposed to becoming more computer efficient,
CMA surveys suggest. However, the physicians are worried about adequate
technical support and, more importantly, who would pay for all this
technology in their office.”

I think this is at best an oversimplification. And yet, it has driven the development of programs in Ontario, Alberta and, unfortunately, it seems to be driving the nascent British Columbia PITO program.

As Sheppard reports,

“Infoway has estimated that the full cost of implementing an e-health
system in Canada would be close to $10 billion, but that the initiative
should return something like $80 billion in direct cost savings and
efficiencies over a 20-year period.”

But what isn't said here is that MOST of the benefits of early implementing of such systems have accrued to the payor of health bills (In Canada read government) rather than the GP.  Surely the aim should be better health care — patient first, primary care giver second and then the payor of course — any system must be econonmically viable, but hopefully effectiveness is the overarching aim.

Related posts on Bricoleur Systems -auto generated:

  1. US – 6th Annual Survey of Electronic Health Record Trends and Usage CanadianEMR contains a pointer to a survey from the US Medical Records Istitute that provides insight to some of the...
  2. Learning from Abroad: Lessons and Questions on Personal Health Records for National Policy Alan Brookstone in CanadianEMR points to an paper from the US based AARP that compares and contrasts approaches taken in...
  3. Report – Beyond Good Intentions Conference – Are we Getting Closer? Writing in CanadianEMR, Alan Brookstone reports on a conference in Montebello, Quebec sponsored by Canada Health Infoway and the Health...
  4. Northern Health docs set the pace for EMR adoption Over 90 percent of doctors, in a mostly rural region bigger in area than France, are expected to be online...
  5. Eighth Annual Survey of Electronic Health Trends and Usage (2006) Available from the Medical Records Institute (pdf) is their latest annual survey of  EHR Trends and Usage which reveals insights...

Tags: CBC, EMR, Systems, thinking

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006 at 11:34 pm and is filed under EMR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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