New project will link medical records to a secure central system that will improve efficiency and quality of health care for residents of nine First Nations

(Winnipeg, MB) - First Nation patients will benefit from better health and health care through information and communications technologies with the launch of the Mustimuhw cEMR (Community Electronic Medical Record), due to the hard work of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, announced AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.

Mustimuhw cEMR (community Electronic Medical Record) is a computer program that provides health professionals with quick access to secure patient information such as blood test results, medication history and allergies. Developed by First Nations to offer solutions designed around First Nation Health Centre needs, the Mustimuhw cEMR's goal is to establish compatibility with clinical EMR systems in nine First Nation communities, so patient information can be shared more easily amongst authorized care providers both on and off reserve.

"This is an innovative project for Manitoba's First Nations, with a health information system built by First Nations people - our partners from the Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia," said Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.

The $3.4 million program includes a $1 million investment by Canada Health Infoway, the federally-funded organization investing in electronic health record systems across Canada.

The cEMR will make it easier for clinicians at the First Nations health centres to access necessary patient information that will translate into enhanced communication and a better experience when visiting local health professionals.

"Ready access to reliable patient information is key to managing and preventing chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Infoway is proud to invest in this exciting project, which will deliver tangible value for patients, health providers, and the health care system. This is a shining example of real progress through collaboration."

The primary outcome for this project is to demonstrate improved coordination of care between health providers on and off reserve by being able to share key health information between community health information systems (cEMR) and physician health information systems (EMR).

The project will:

  • Improve delivery of services through technology;
  • Reduce patient wait times and improve the delivery of health care; and
  • Increase technology and communications capabilities in Manitoba First Nation communities, including trained techs that will contribute to the future Centre of Excellence.

The project will also demonstrate the benefit of cross-jurisdictional (First Nations, federal, provincial) collaboration resulting in better meeting the health care business needs of different health care providers serving the same population. All other provinces in Canada face similar challenges in serving the health care needs of the First Nations population by multiple jurisdictions, but still need to ensure that information systems and interoperability be implemented in such a way that is respectful of First Nations governance and requirements.

"Cowichan Tribes is honoured to be working with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the other project partners on this ground-breaking and exciting initiative...this project will go a long way in supporting the continuity of care between community health and primary care providers for First Nations clients. This leading work will help many First Nations, who are already using a cEMR in their Health Centre, improving the quality of care in this way.Canada Health Infoway's support of this work will greatly benefit First Nations eHealth in Canada." said Judith Gohn, Executive Health Director, Cowichan Tribes of British Columbia.

Thank you! Ekosani! Miigwech! Mahsi! Wopida! Merci!

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For more information:

Doug Thomas
Director of Corporate Communications
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Tel: (204) 781-5862
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Angela Jonsson
Chief of Staff and VP, Public Affairs
Canada Health Infoway
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