April 14, 2020 (Toronto) – In response to feedback from physicians and pharmacists managing patient consultations virtually during COVID-19, Canada Health Infoway’s PrescribeIT® has initiated an EMR-Virtual Care Investment Program.
The Infoway EMR-Virtual Care Investment initiative will provide participating EMR vendors with financial support to rapidly integrate or scale existing virtual care technologies to meet the growing demand during the pandemic when Canadians are encouraged to observe physical distancing. The program is just one way Infoway is working with Health Canada and the jurisdictions to provide support during this time.
“This crisis has shown us that we need to get our health care system ready for any eventuality,” noted Michael Green, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway). “In support of physicians, pharmacists, and other health professionals, truly enabling virtual care – from patient consultation to prescription – is the right thing for patients and our investment program will help make this a reality more quickly.”
Benefits of EMRs offering integrated virtual care solutions:
- A better patient experience with patients seeing their own doctor;
- Increased patient safety with physicians having access to complete medical records;
- An end-to-end solution from virtual patient consultation to electronic prescription;
- Confidence that the solution ensures patient privacy and security of information; and
- A better physician experience with a choice of one-stop solutions to provide patient care.
PrescribeIT® vendor partners and other EMR vendors who will be participating in this program serve more than half of physicians in Canada. These vendors include:
- Canadian Health Systems is accelerating adoption of virtual care tools for clients across Canada, including those caring for underserved and vulnerable populations.
- Indivica is extending and accelerating the integration of its IndiviCare EMR solutions with secure telepresence and medical API gateways to enable practical virtual patient care and monitoring.
- InputHealth is enhancing its existing virtual care toolset, launching a fully integrated patient-focused mobile app, as well as accelerating training to support adoption and effective use. Additionally, InputHealth has launched a virtual care enabled population health navigation tool to assist providers during COVID-19.
- MEDFAR Clinical Solutions is expanding its virtual care offering by integrating videoconferencing into its MYLE EMR solution.
- Microquest Inc. is enabling EMR integrated, bi-directional patient-provider communications through a patient portal.
- Omnimed, a bilingual EMR solution, is focusing on enhancing the effectiveness of standard care pathways by implementing electronic clinical tools to improve efficiency, such as one-click prescription technology.
- P&P Data System, recognizing the unprecedented concerns health care providers are facing, is fast-tracking the integration of its EMR solutions with telemedicine capabilities to facilitate virtual care visits at no cost to Ontarians and enable social-distancing measures during COVID-19.
- TELUS Health has fast-tracked the development and deployment of a bilingual, integrated virtual care capability into five of its EMRs. This capability enables practitioners to schedule and conduct virtual visits from within their full-function EMRs, preserving their connectedness to patients and ensuring continuity of care.
- WELL Health Technologies is automating the registration and deployment of its existing service with the goal to fully integrate and roll out nationally with OSCAR EMR or as a standalone solution.
Offering an integrated virtual care solution that includes e-prescribing is a significant advantage for health care providers and patients. PrescribeIT®, a national e-prescribing service developed by Infoway, can reduce the need for in-person physician or nurse practitioner visits and enables vulnerable populations to limit their time outside thereby reducing their risk of infection.
For physicians and nurse practitioners offering virtual consultations with patients, prescriptions can be sent electronically from their EMR to the patient’s pharmacy of choice and pharmacies can request prescription renewals from the patient’s prescriber electronically. For pharmacists, PrescribeIT® enables them to receive prescriptions directly into the pharmacy management system and enables them to electronically request prescription renewals from the prescriber, which enables more time for patient care.
PrescribeIT® also offers the ability for physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to send secure clinical communication to each other through the integrated messaging tool. This permits care professionals to quickly align on an appropriate course of action and provide the best medication approach for their patients.
Canada Health Infoway is working with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, and industry stakeholders to develop, operate and maintain the national e-prescribing service known as PrescribeIT®. PrescribeIT® will serve all Canadians, pharmacies and prescribers and provide safer and more effective medication management by enabling prescribers to transmit a prescription electronically between a prescriber’s electronic medical record (EMR) and the pharmacy management system (PMS) of a patient’s pharmacy of choice. Learn more at www.prescribeit.ca.
About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Learn more at www.infoway.ca.
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