ElectronicHealthcare

ElectronicHealthcare 3(4) March 2005 : 104-104

Publisher's Page - Infoway Update

Abstract

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Canada's First Provincial Client Registry Goes Live in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) and Canada Health Infoway announced the successful implementation of the first provincial client registry in Canada.

The Unique Personal Identifier and Client Registry (UPI/Client Registry) is an information system and database of patient, client, and resident demographic information that has been used since 2002 by all hospitals, community services offices, long-term care facilities, and the Medical Care Plan (MCP) to identify accurately all individuals accessing the health system in Newfoundland and Labrador. This has allowed organizations to have up-to-date contact information without the need for people to get in touch with the organization when they move.

In December 2003, the Centre for Health Information and Infoway agreed to enhance the UPI/Client Registry, improving the timely access to accurate demographic information within the province and building in capacity to communicate with future client registry systems across Canada (interoperability). Infoway invested $5.4 million and the Department of Health and Community Services invested $3.6 million in the Client Registry project.

The Centre for Health Information prepared 90 documents to be included in the Infoway Toolkit for Client Registries for use by other jurisdictions - Client Registry initiatives are currently in progress in nine other jurisdictions. The Centre has had extensive consultations with New Brunswick, Ontario, and Nova Scotia regarding their planning for client registries.


Canada Health Infoway and Nunavut to Build Telehealth Capacity Initiative

The government of Nunavut and Canada Health Infoway launched a joint project which will include a training program for telehealth technicians, allowing them to enhance the skills needed to operate equipment in their community.

The project is designed to serve as a model for remote and aboriginal telehealth initiatives across the country.

Infoway also announced a project to collect and document telehealth-related experience gained from Nunavut, including best practices in management, operations and training. This knowledge will be shared with similar communities across the country to help facilitate implementation and adoption of telehealth initiatives.

Canada Health Infoway's telehealth strategy is to increase the use of existing telehealth networks and foster the growth of telehealth programs focusing on northern, remote, rural and aboriginal communities.


Healthcare Community Celebrates BC Project That Modernizes Canada's Healthcare System

Two major milestones and a significant financial contribution were announced at Burnaby Hospital, for a project that is key in modernizing Canada's healthcare system. The largest project of its kind to date in Canada, Fraser Health's PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) will link the 12 Fraser Health hospitals electronically, allowing them to share patient X-rays and MRI scans across a geographic area from Burnaby to White Rock to Hope. By eliminating searches for X-ray films and duplication of procedures, the system enables radiologists to be more productive. Immediate retrieval of imaging results leads to improved quality of patient care.

Four hospitals in the Fraser North area (Burnaby, Royal Columbian, Eagle Ridge and Ridge Meadows) are now 98% 'filmless' and another four sites in Fraser East (MSA, Mission Memorial, Chilliwack and Fraser Canyon) are now live on the digital imaging network known as the Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS). Fraser South hospitals (Surrey Memorial, Langley Memorial, Delta and Peace Arch) will come on line next spring and fall. Infoway will be investing over $11.4 million in this project.

This project, which is unique because it electronically links an entire health region through a diagnostic imaging network, will be replicated in other parts of the country. It is estimated that implementing shared digital imaging networks across the country will save the healthcare system an estimated $350 million dollars. This approach helps address the challenge of providing affordable access for smaller hospitals and clinics to the technology underlying EHRs. Small hospitals and clinics comprise 80% of Canadian facilities.

By making digital health information available on a widerscale, this project is a first step in building EHR systems that are compatible across Canada.

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