Ontario’s Community Health Centres will soon have next generation EMR system
Sudbury (March 7,2011) - Ontarians served by Community Health Centres (CHCs) will soon have access to a new state-of-the-art electronic medical record (EMR) system funded by eHealth Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as the CHCs themselves.
The system will provide a powerful new tool for the 3,100 members of CHCs’ interprofessional teams who will be using the system.
Community Health Centres’ interprofessional teams are especially effective at delivering care to populations who face barriers accessing care, or whose circumstances leave them vulnerable to poor health. The new tool will further enhance their effectiveness.
The new EMR system features a number of unique attributes designed to complement CHCs’ comprehensive primary health care approach.
- In addition to being used by nurses and doctors, it will be used by a wide range of other health providers including pharmacists, mental health workers, chiropodists, social workers, dietitians, diabetes educators, physiotherapists, health promoters and community workers.
It is equipped to gather information from clients’ participation in a wide array of health promotion group sessions, not just individual visits with health providers.
The new system is bilingual; a feature that will benefit Francophone clients served in the seven Francophone and other bilingual Community Health Centres throughout Ontario.
Also significant is that all 73 of Ontario’s Community Health Centres are moving together in a coordinated way to deploy the new EMR system. This creates multiple opportunities for cost-efficiencies.
The Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC), which is the provincial organization representing Ontario’s Community Health Centres, will facilitate a rigorous procurement process to select a vendor for the next generation bilingual EMR system. The procurement is one of the largest of its kind ever initiated in Canada.
“We are very pleased to be aligned with the province’s eHealth strategy,” says AOHC Executive Director Adrianna Tetley. “This is a major step forward and will ultimately enable CHCs’ interprofessional teams to share information with labs, hospitals and the rest of the health care system so that clients receive even higher quality care.”
The strategic direction for planning and implementing CHC EMR adoption is being set by Ontario’s Community Health Centres Information Management Committee.
“We are also very happy that the needs of the communities we serve, many of whom have very complex needs, are now an integral part of the province’s eHealth strategy,”says the committee’s Chair Michelle Hurtubise.
Today’s announcement was made at the Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury, one of two Community Health Centres serving the Sudbury region.
“People served by Community Health Centres already enjoy the benefits of collaborative care delivered by interprofessional teams,” said Jacqueline Gauthier, Executive Director of Sudbury East Community Health Centre. “This investment means those teams will have state-of-the-art tools to support a model of care that delivers so many benefits to the communities they serve.”
Ontario’s Community Health Centres (CHCs) are the only primary health care organizations that combine primary health care services with a wide range of other health promotion and community development services.
There are 73 centres servicing over 110 communities across the province.
CHCs serve over 350,000 clients each year with staffing levels that range from 12 in the smallest site to 200 in the largest.
Approximately 3,100 health care providers will use the EMR system of which 600 are ordering clinicians (physicians and nurse practitioners).
Deployment will begin this fall and will be completed by September 2013.
Health centres to seek bilingual records system - March 8, 2011; The Sudbury Star (PDF)
Bringing community health centres into the electronic age - March 7, 2011; NorthernLife.ca (PDF)