The authors of the lead essay present a compelling case for the development and implementation of a national strategy on chronic disease prevention and management (CDPM). The literature demonstrates that the Chronic Care Model can improve quality and reduce costs. Substantial evidence supports the role of health information technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) in achieving these goals.

However, an interoperable pan-Canadian health infostructure does not exist; funding is required to establish this across the continuum of care. An investment of $350 per capita would provide a robust health technology platform to support a national CDPM strategy. Such an investment would deliver annual benefits of $6-$7.6 billion; this could be leveraged to support national healthcare priorities such as CDPM.

EHRs will improve decisions about care, reduce system errors and increase efficiency. They will also improve our ability to measure, assess and manage care. We cannot run a high-performing health system without sound data. This was a key step to enabling progress on wait times management.

Leadership is required if a national CDPM strategy is to become reality. The authors made a convincing case for the development of a national strategy; we need to turn their words into actionable events to gain necessary momentum.