Toward a Coordinated Electronic Health Record (EHR) Strategy for Canada

Report — July 01, 2015

This EHR white paper addresses one of the four themes being discussed at
this second conference. In this paper, EHR is broadly defined to include both electronic patient records in healthcare facilities (e.g., hospitals) and physician office EMR systems. Since EHRs acquire their data from multiple sources, laboratory (lab), drug, and imaging information systems, and the Infoway EHR Blueprint, including the Health Information Access Layer (HIAL) as an example of an underlying interoperable backbone, all need to be included in the model. In particular, this paper will summarize how leading health systems and providers have implemented EHR systems, identify challenges in such processes, and propose strategies for Canada’s PT jurisdictions to work together to implement an effective EHR. The three key questions to be addressed in this paper are:

1. What is the justification for this EHR strategy?
2. What would be the key components of this EHR strategy? 3. How might this EHR strategy be implemented?

Rather than proposing a definitive EHR solution, this paper seeks to continue the dialogue on the need for a coordinated EHR strategy for Canada, and to stimulate debate on what the key components of this strategy should be and how they can be implemented. Most importantly, any EHR investments made in support of the healthcare reform effort in Canada must demonstrate value for money.

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