SPRING 2010

i n f o r m a t i o n   t e c h n o l o g y
Electronic Health Records and stakeholder engagement


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The vision of achieving a provincial Electronic Health Record is continually moving closer to realization. The provincial EHR will enable health care providers to electronically view and manage patient information to enhance delivery of care.

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The vision of achieving a provincial Electronic Health Record (EHR) is continually moving closer to realization. The provincial EHR will enable health care providers to electronically view and manage patient information to enhance delivery of care. From a secure computer system, clinicians will be able to access select patient information, such as patient demographics, medications from the Pharmacy Network, radiology reports from the Provincial Archival Communications System (PACS) and laboratory results from the laboratory information system, also known as iEHR/Labs.

The EHR will serve as the longitudinal collection of patient health care and will combine information from different care settings held in different systems. For context, in eHealth language we have several systems that are distinct from one another and can be best described as follows:

  1. The Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a user centric system that enables clinicians to manage their patients.

  2. The Electronic Patient Record (EPR), which in Newfoundland and Labrador equates to Meditech, is a facility centric system for the purpose of managing patients at the facility.

  3. The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is patient centric system that enables access to patient information for clinicians’ management of patients, regardless of location.

The next phase in developing a provincial EHR is the interoperable Electronic Health Record (iEHR)/Labs project. The iEHR/Labs project, which is now reaching the design and planning phase, is aimed at further facilitating seamless, secure and timely sharing of accurate health information to provide a more complete picture of a patient’s medical profile. The labs element of the project will allow clinicians to view lab results regardless of where they are located or where the test was conducted.

As the province moves forward with the iEHR/Labs project, continued and expanded dialogue with end-users across the province, including physicians, is a recognized priority. Throughout the early planning stages, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (the Centre) will continue consultation with various stakeholder groups to provide and gather information on how the system will work and its impact on current practices. Clinical working groups are also being formed, including a labs-specific group of subject matter experts and a clinical working group for gathering perspectives from a variety of clinicians.

As part of the consultation process, the Centre will look to physicians across the province to help shape and guide the iEHR/Labs project design and implementation efforts. Through the use of surveys, focus groups and provincial and regional working groups, the Centre hopes to gain an understanding of how the project can be designed to suit physician needs and to ensure that the clinical information required by physicians is captured and represented. If you are interested in participating in any of these stakeholder engagement initiatives, please contact Ian Hodder, the Centre’s manager of change management, at (709) 752-6136.

With active support and engagement from the province, regional health authorities and health care professionals, the Centre is working toward developing the provincial EHR system. The success of the individual components and the overall provincial EHR is dependent on valuable input and stakeholder participation. Together with our partners and stakeholders, we can continue to make strides toward improving health through quality health information.

For more information on the provincial EHR, the iEHR/Labs project or the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, please visit the Centre’s website.

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