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Commonwealth Fund 2019 Survey Commonwealth Fund 2019 Survey

The Commonwealth Fund’s 2019 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians found there has been significant electronic medical record (EMR) adoption among Canadian primary care physicians over the past decade. Family doctors have also made inroads on access to electronic health record (EHR) data, that is, data in provincial or territorial information systems, such as hospitals. The Commonwealth Fund survey compares 11 developed countries.

The results show that where investments have been made, such as in EMRs, EHRs and telemedicine for remote communities, Canada has made progress. For example, 34 per cent of primary care physicians offer patients the ability to view test results, on par with international numbers (37%).

 

  • 86% of primary care physicians use EMRs, up from 37% in 2009
    86% of primary care physicians use EMRs, up from 37% in 2009
  • 77% of primary care physicians have access to EHR data assets
    73% of primary care physicians have access to EHR data assets
  • 34% of primary care physicians offer patients the ability to view test results
    34% of primary care physicians offer patients the ability to view test results

Digital Doctors

The survey results showed that digitally-enabled Canadian family  doctors — those using multiple EMR functions and EHRs — are overall more satisfied than their non-digital peers with practising medicine (57% vs 39%). They are also more likely to provide care virtually, to exhibit leading practices in providing patient care, and to use digital tools to improve patient quality of care, such as reviewing data quarterly or annually on patients’ hospital admission/emergency department (ED) use.

  • 57% Digital doctor -
39% Other
    Satisfaction with practising medicine
  • 18% Digital doctor -
29% Other
    Offer patients option to email
  • 37% Digital doctor -
19% Other
    Review patient hospital admissions/ED use
  • 38% Digital doctor -
20% Other
    Review data on prescribing practices

More Work Needed

While Canada has made significant inroads in areas where it has invested in digital health, such as EMRs for primary care physicians, Canada still lags international standards so there is a lot of work to be done.

For example, fewer Canadian physicians offer patient online services than their international peers.

  • 34% Canada -
37% International
    View test results online
  • 23% Canada -
65% International
    Communicate via email
  • 22% Canada -
56% International
    e-Book appointments
  • 10% Canada -
52% International
    e-Requests for prescription refills

Canada Health Infoway recognizes there is still much work to be done when it comes to access to digital health services for Canadians and their health care providers. ACCESS 2022 is a movement to create a new day for health care in Canada, one where Canadians have access to their health information and digitally-enabled solutions to better manage their care. We’re uniting industry, health care providers, provinces, territories and Canadians to transform care.

Join the ACCESS 2022 Movement  

 

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