In this issue, the lead article proposes that e-health technologies should be used more broadly and that patients should have greater access to their information through such technologies. The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) agrees with this statement and suggests that to facilitate the timely and appropriate adoption of new technologies among healthcare providers to enhance patient care, barriers in the existing regulatory, legislative and legal frameworks must be addressed.
While much of the discussion to date on e-health has focused primarily on high-level issues regarding regulatory compliance, "privacy by design" and the e-health "panacea," CMPA suggests that there needs to be a refocus on achieving more concrete change and gains through consideration of the specific impact on the drivers of healthcare delivery. An integrated or holistic approach is required involving healthcare providers, regulators, legislators, stakeholders, ministries of health, privacy commissioners and the courts. To better leverage potential advantages, efficiencies and enhanced, safer care for our healthcare system, all parties must work together to develop an acceptable and flexible approach to the "appropriate use" of e-health technologies that will facilitate adoption by healthcare professionals in a manner that is consistent with the expectations of the profession and applicable standards of practice.
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