Access to electronic information benefits patients
January 20, 2015 (Regina) - A historic milestone has been reached now that a comprehensive provincial electronic health record (EHR) for Saskatchewan residents is a reality. Health providers with access to the EHR Viewer can now see their patients' diagnostic imaging results, completing the core components of an EHR for Saskatchewan residents, as defined by Canada Health Infoway.
The EHR Viewer is a secure website developed for Saskatchewan health care providers to give access to patient information regardless of where an individual goes for care or where they live in the province.
"I'm excited we've achieved our goal of building the foundation that allows seamless sharing of health information, something residents and providers told us we needed to better coordinate patients' health care," Health Minister Dustin Duncan said. "Patients benefit when their providers have timely access to information when making health care decisions."
The EHR Viewer also includes access to:
- patient prescription and allergy information from community pharmacies;
- more than 90 per cent of laboratory results from health regions and the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory;
- immunization histories;
- supports to help physicians better manage their patients with chronic disease, including diabetes and coronary artery disease;
- standardized operative reporting for breast cancer surgeries;
- hospital admission, discharge and transfer summaries, providing family physicians with valuable patient information; and
- discharge summaries from hospitals in the Saskatoon Health Region, allowing doctors to view the instructions their patients receive following release from hospital.
"We are pleased with this achievement and will continue to work with our partners to expand the patient information that is available in the EHR," said Susan Antosh, CEO of eHealth. "We want to thank our many partners for their collaboration and dedication in reaching this key milestone which better supports Saskatchewan patients."
About 3,300 health care providers have access to the EHR Viewer, including physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners.
"Saskatchewan has clearly demonstrated its commitment to transforming health care for its residents by ensuring vital patient information is available in a timely and secure manner when and where it matters most," Michael Green, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway noted.
The EHR project cost $32.5 million in total with approximately 75 per cent of the funding contributed by Canada Health Infoway. The Government of Saskatchewan contributed approximately $10 million. An additional $39 million was spent on the development of additional components (provider registry, client registry, pharmacy and diagnostic imaging) that were necessary to have the information available to distribute using the EHR. Of this, $31 million was funded by Canada Health Infoway, while the province funded $8 million.
The privacy and security of personal health information is a high priority for eHealth Saskatchewan and a variety of safeguards are in place. Patients who are concerned about access to their personal health information can request their information be masked and only be viewed with patient authorization.
eHealth Saskatchewan is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the provincial electronic health record for Saskatchewan. eHealth is also responsible for Vital Statistics and Health Registries.
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.
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For more information:
Tel: (306) 337-0976