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Blog: Infoway Connects

Enhancing Patient Care Through Quality Data

Posted on February 25, 2016 by Sarah Hutchison

As health information technology professionals, we often focus on solutions and technology to solve business problems. We know we still have a long way to go to realize an eHealth system that is seamlessly connected across health care settings and enables health care professionals to access the right patient information in a meaningful way, when and where it is needed.

Health information professionals and health care providers alike are striving to deliver broader access to the patient’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) in real time to enable more informed decisions at the point of care. OntarioMD has contributed to the overall vision for the EHR through its programs to support the selection and implementation of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) for community-based family physicians and specialists. When it comes to EMRs, we recognize that it is a significant commitment for all health care providers to fully optimize the use of EMRs at the practice level involving not only the need for change management and support but also in addressing the capacity of health care providers to respond to new expectations.

As we collectively turn our focus from EMR adoption in the community to enhanced use, one area that we are focused on is building awareness and appreciation for the way in which health data is captured as it impacts the ability to report and share quality data in a meaningful way. A significant opportunity for enhancing the use of EMRs is to recognize the clinical value that can be obtained through better visibility and reporting of the information that lies within the EMR (and other information sources) and how standardizing where possible the way in which data is captured will only continue to improve the value of information that is made available.

Enhanced EMR use through ongoing improvements to data quality in primary care is an enabler of a healthier population; a journey impacted by both technology and human factors.

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Sarah HutchisonSarah Hutchison

Sarah Hutchison is the Chief Executive Officer of OntarioMD. Sarah has over 25 years of progressive experience within organized medicine, and is known as a leader in Ontario's eHealth environment. She brings an extensive background and knowledge of eHealth, and has been effective in ensuring that physicians are central to the system discussions about the evolution of eHealth in Ontario.

Sarah has had a successful career with the OMA since 2001. She held progressively senior leadership roles to become the OMA’s Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, Engagement and Program Delivery. She simultaneously held the position of Chief Privacy Officer for OntarioMD, leveraging her extensive experience in privacy and regulatory and governance issues in health care.

Sarah holds an MHSc (University of Toronto), an LL.M in Health Law (Osgoode), and holds CHE (Canadian College of Health Leaders) and CPHIMS-CA designations.

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