Certification means EMR vendors will be able to market a single solution that meets national standards to ensure the privacy, security and interoperability of patient health information.
It will also make purchasing decisions easier for customers, who will have the assurance of knowing certified products conform with privacy and security requirements, and can allow for the transfer of patient information such as lab test results and clinical reports between authorized health care providers.
"Physicians have told us they want a simpler approach to selecting an EMR system for their practices, one that they can trust to maintain the privacy and security of information and allows them to share patient information with authorized health professionals in various health care settings," said Alvarez. "Certification of EMR systems will signal to users that the product they are considering is a trusted solution that conforms to Canadian and international standards."
The introduction of EMR certification is another step by Infoway and the health information and communication technologies (ICT) industry to ensure that trusted interoperable solutions are available in the marketplace. Infoway will continue to collaborate with physicians and the ICT community to ensure certification evolves to keep current with advances in technology.
"Moving to a single, consistent and harmonized approach to certified EMR solutions that also takes into account the local variations of every Canadian jurisdiction will result in greater flexibility for the vendors who are marketing these products," said Brendan Seaton, President, ITAC Health, the Health Division of the Information Technology Association of Canada. "It will also simplify the decision making process for health providers who are considering implementing EMRs in their practices."
The eight certifications currently available include:
- Electronic Medical Records
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Drug Information Systems
- Consumer Health Platforms
- Consumer Health Applications
- Client Registries
- Provider Registries
- Immunization Registries
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.
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