WINTER 2006

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Interoperable electronic health records and laboratory information system


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The iEHR/Labs Project will bring together information from the other EHR projects to enable sharing of personal health information and other health data with health professionals and health care providers across the continuum of care.

By NLCHI Staff

In mid-January 2006, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information received approval from Canada Health Infoway, the national organization established to accelerate the implementation of a pan-Canadian EHR, to proceed with the scoping and planning requirements for the Interoperable Electronic Health Records and Laboratory Information System Project (iEHR/Labs). The iEHR/Labs Project will bring together information from the other EHR projects to enable sharing of personal health information and other health data with health professionals and health care providers across the continuum of care. The iEHR/Labs project will address the increasing need to use integrated and secure health information and communication technologies more effectively to improve primary healthcare services, improve patient safety, and enable evidence-based decision making and on-going accountability.

The first phase of the project focused on the identification of benefits of the iEHR, an overall conceptual solution for how to implement it, and the high-level costs associated with the implementation. A detailed proposal will be submitted to Infoway in the spring with a request for funding. If funding is approved, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will be asked for approval before implementation begins.

Newfoundland and Labrador electronic health record

Great strides have been made in identifying the architecture, supporting technology, and business processes required to implement a robust EHR system for Newfoundland and Labrador. With respect to the Laboratory Information System, standards work is progressing well in conjunction with the initiatives that are underway with the national and provincial standards committees.

Several information systems will come together under the Newfoundland and Labrador EHR, such as Diagnostic Imaging/Picture Archiving and Communications System (DIPACS), the Pharmacy Network, Telehealth initiatives, Provider Registry, Unique Personal Identifier/Client Registry, and a provincial Laboratory Information System. Several other existing health care information systems, such as the Client and Referral Management System, Meditech, and Opus Varian (cancer registry) will be integrated into the Newfoundland and Labrador EHR as the system expands to meet the growing needs. Together, these information systems will enhance provincial health care.

The project team has begun a series of information sessions about the iEHR/Labs initiative with the Regional Health Authorities and will extend these sessions to physicians and other health professionals and health care providers in early 2007. The primary purpose of these sessions is to share the vision of the Newfoundland and Labrador EHR and how it will support physicians and others in their decision making. Province-wide consultation sessions are planned, and will include an overview of how the system will work and the impact on current practices.

For an update on other Health Information Network projects, please see the Centre’s latest Fast Facts.

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