Delivery of eHealth

In the last five years health stakeholders have created a number of electronic initiatives, in telehealth and diagnostic imaging for example, that show the benefits of eHealth.

In B.C.'s eHealth program the Ministry of Health will lead a process to create an overarching system to make faster, safer, better health care. It will be implemented by the Health Authorities and health professionals, without adversely affecting day-to-day health care delivery.

The implementation will take place in phases. The first step is to create the foundation - the electronic health record - working with Oracle BC (formally Sun Microsystems B.C.).

Electronic Medical Records pilots are underway to establish the first EMRs in physician’s offices.

An EMR is a product to provide a computer-based patient medical record used by physicians, nurses and administrative staff. EMRs contain patient information that authorized health professionals can access electronically rather than through a traditional paper chart.  Approximately 85% of physician offices have now incorporated an EMR.  Although we are optimistic that many of these offices will use these EMRs to access provincial eHealth systems (like lab information and ePrescribing), this is a completely voluntary hook-up.

B.C.'s Health Sector IM/IT Strategy

The Health Sector IM/IT Strategy (2010/11 – 2012/13) ensures the alignment of IM/IT initiatives and investment with B.C.’s overall health sector strategies and priorities. It sets direction for all B.C. health care delivery organizations, establishes key areas of focus for IM/IT and provides the context for provincial eHealth initiatives. The Strategy document was updated in January 2011 to ensure alignment with the Ministry of Health 2010/11 – 2012/13 Service Plan.

It is anticipated the new provincial strategy will be available later this year.  IM/IT will support and enable key actions selected in these cross sector focus areas:

  • Health Sector IM/IT is a key enabler of  the provincial agenda
  • A series of cross-sector, priority focus areas which include:
    • Primary and Community Care Services
    • Surgical Services
    • Rural Services

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