Canada Health Infoway boosts investment in EHR

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Canada Health Infoway has increased its financial investment in electronic health records (HER) as well as increased the number of initiatives it has in each province and territory in Canada. A summary of results for the projects was presented to Infoway's members at the organization's annual general meeting held last week in Toronto.

For the year 2004-05 (ended March 31, 2005), Infoway committed project investments of $195 million, 56 percent above the previous three years combined, for a total of $321 million since Infoway's inception. Additionally, the organization initiated 52 new projects in 2004-05, nearly doubling its project count and bringing the total to 105.

Also in 2004-05, Infoway made a move to boost its contribution to 75 percent to assist provinces and territories to more easily provide their share of the funding for EHR projects.

Infoway and its partners made significant progress on many initiatives in 2004-05, including projects in Southwestern Ontario and Fraser Valley, B.C., where large groups of hospitals share diagnostic imaging technology.

Nineteen of the new projects were based on reusing and adapting the results of successful diagnostic imaging, drug information, client registry and provider registry implementations from other parts of the country.

Infoway also worked closely with the provinces and territories to develop joint three-year technology and investment plans, aligning national and provincial e-Health strategies.
       
As a result of these collaborations, several provinces and territories jointly issued requests for proposals (RFPs) and benefited from volume pricing as a result.    
 
Infoway has now approved investment strategies for all nine Infoway programs and also continued to focus on interoperability to ensure that different systems can communicate. For example, Infoway began updating the Electronic Health Record Solution (EHRS) Blueprint, which shows how different components of the EHR system can interact with one another, to include privacy and security architecture.