I n f o r m a t i o n T e c h
n o l o g y
support development of the provincial electronic health record
These projects will assist
physicians in providing improved patient care by making comprehensive
patient information available in a timelier manner.
by Lucy MacDonald
Several provincial collaborative
projects are moving forward at the
Centre for Health
Information that will assist in the development of the Health
Information Network and support person-specific electronic health
records in Newfoundland and Labrador. These projects will result in
the availability of information technologies that will assist
physicians in providing improved patient care by making
comprehensive patient information available in a timelier manner.
An electronic health record (EHR) provides
individuals with a secure lifetime record of their key health history
and care within a health care system, including, but not limited to,
prescription information, laboratory test results, and DI/PACS
information. The record will eventually be available electronically to
authorized health care providers anywhere, anytime, and in support of
high quality care.
The last few months have seen significant
movement in the development of several key components of the EHR.
The Centre has signed a letter of intent
with the Emergis Consortium for purposes of negotiating a detailed
contract for the development of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy
Network. The negotiated contract and a detailed implementation plan will
be submitted to government for approval in late 2005. This project will
serve as a reference best-of-breed project for all provinces and
territories to follow and will be supported with substantial funding
from Canada Health Infoway.
The province is moving forward with the
development of a provincial archive for computerized diagnostic images.
This will involve additional investment from the province in regional
DI/PACS systems and will be supplemented by funding from Infoway to
allow the eventual sharing of digital images province-wide. The
Department of Health and Community Services, in collaboration with the
regional health authorities, are leading this initiative and the Centre
for Health Information is providing project management and technical
expertise to support its success.
Laboratory Information System
Discussions have begun with Infoway and
the Regional Integrated Health Authorities on a provincial lab
information system. This system will leverage the lab information
systems currently in place in the province in a project similar to DI/PACS.
The key element of this project is the inclusion of the interoperability
technology that will allow for the presentation of health information
from multiple clinical environments (e.g., Pharmacy and DI/PACS) into
one viewer/portal province-wide.
Canada Health Infoway has approved funding
for Phase 1 of the Newfoundland and Labrador Telehealth Strategy. The
eventual outcome of the telehealth strategy will be the integration of
telehealth technologies and methodologies into the day-to-day delivery
of health care province wide.
Primary Health Care
In the near future, the Centre will issue
an request for proposals, in collaboration with the Office of Primary
Health Care, to identify solutions for a practice management/electronic
medical record that will meet the needs of two of the primary health
care resource sites in St. John’s.
If you would like more information on
the projects mentioned in this article, please contact
Lucy McDonald, Director, Privacy
and Communications at the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health