Keen interest among physicians for new electronic medical records; goal to convert 5,700 offices from paper to electronic records in three years
This past week, OntarioMD, the OMA subsidiary charged with the delivery of the electronic medical records program, received over 650 enquiries about the program from physicians. Over 165 physicians across Ontario have already applied to be part of the program.
"There is pent-up demand for this program," said
With electronic medical records, physicians are able to prevent adverse drug reactions when writing and renewing prescriptions. They can manage lab results and help develop preventative care strategies. Doctors have ready access to their patient's history, know what tests have been done and when to schedule periodic checks and tests. Physicians also use these electronic records to help their patients manage chronic disease, such as diabetes and depression. Patients can be confident that their information will be available when their physician or someone on his or her team needs it.
The OMA is partnering with eHealth Ontario to increase the number of family physicians and specialists who use and share electronic medical records. Currently 3,300 primary care physicians have made the transition to electronic medical records. Now, with this new program, an additional 5,700 physicians will be supported. By 2012, 9,000 physicians, including more than 65 per cent of primary care physicians, will be using electronic medical records, to the benefit of approximately 10 million Ontarians.
"The adoption of electronic medical records is one of the most important tools needed to increase efficiency throughout the entire healthcare system," said the Honourable
Under the program, eligible physicians will receive subsidies to transform their offices. They will receive approximately
"These systems help physicians advance patient safety and provide better care through medication management and special features for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes," said
An electronic medical record is a computer-based medical record that is specific to one physician, practice or organization. It is the record that a doctor maintains for his or her own patients which details demographics, medical and drug history, diagnostic information and laboratory results. It is often integrated with other software that manages activities such as billing and scheduling.For further information: Heather Brown, eHealth Ontario, (416) 586-4238; Ivan Langrish, Minister's Office, MOHLTC, (416) 326-3986; David Jensen, MOHLTC, (416) 314-6197; Leianne Musselman, Ontario Medical Association, (416) 340-2862