Infoway Certification Services expands to include Diagnostic Imaging, Drug Information Systems

'Infoway Certified' assures products meet pan-Canadian standards

TORONTO, July 5 /CNW/ - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) has added diagnostic imaging and drug information systems to its pre-implementation Certification Services. Health information technology vendors can now receive certification for seven classes of technology.

Receiving the 'Infoway Certified' mark gives vendors of health information technology products an advantage in the marketplace by signalling to potential healthcare customers their commitment to pan-Canadian standards and industry best practices, and their leadership in contributing to interoperable health information for Canadians.

"When a vendor solution bears the 'Infoway Certified' mark, the buyer can have confidence the solution will meet the standards of interoperable health information technology in Canada," says Richard Alvarez, President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway. "It signals to the Health IT sector both nationally and internationally that the product meets pan-Canadian standards and best practices related to privacy, security and interoperability."

Infoway is the only organization in Canada certifying health information technology systems against pan-Canadian electronic health record (EHR) standards. Having produced national interoperability standards and a technology framework for the sustainable development of an interoperable EHR system across Canada, Infoway is ideally positioned to ensure current and emerging products provide required privacy and security and can interoperate with all EHR systems being implemented throughout the country.

The seven pre-implementation certifications currently available include:

- Diagnostic Imaging - New!
    - Drug Information Systems - New!
    - Consumer Health Platforms
    - Consumer Health Applications
    - Client Registries
    - Provider Registries
    - Immunization Registries

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to support safe care decisions and manage their own health. The ability to access this vital information quickly is helping to foster a modern, sustainable health care system for all Canadians.

For more information, please see the Certification Services Backgrounder.

    BACKGROUNDER

                       Infoway Certification Services

Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) has expanded its list of electronic health record (EHR) products eligible to receive pre-implementation certification to a total of seven offerings. The focus of Infoway's Certification Services is on ensuring such products can provide the privacy required to protect an individual's personal health information, grant secure access to authorized health care professionals and interoperate with the core elements of the EHRs being implemented throughout Canada's provinces and territories.

Once vendors' products achieve certification, the vendors will be entitled to apply the "Infoway Certified" mark to their products and related marketing materials. Certified solutions bearing the Infoway certification mark are recognized by jurisdictions considering investments in particular health information technologies. The Infoway mark is the buyers' assurance that the certified products conform to pan-Canadian standards.

The seven certification offerings now available include:

Diagnostic Imaging
    ------------------

Diagnostic Imaging (DI) solutions maintain and manage information about orders and results for DI tests, which constitute a vital part of a client EHR. They allow for the centralized capture and sharing of information across a large distributed network.

These networks include Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) and Radiology Information Systems (RIS) implemented in hospitals or diagnostic centres, as well as diagnostic modalities used to produce such pictures. Typically, there are two key pieces of data associated with a diagnostic imaging test: the report outlining the conclusions of a DI study, and the imaging artefact(s), which may take various forms such as video or sound, but often will be digitized images.

Drug Information Systems
    ------------------------

A Drug Information System (DIS) is a component of an EHR system which supports the centralized storage and retrieval of patient medication and related information, and provides application services supporting prescribing and dispensing activities such as drug-usage evaluation.

Consumer Health Platforms
    -------------------------

Consumer Health Platforms provide individuals with secure, private electronic access to collect, store and retrieve their personal health information. This information could include X-ray images, prescription drug history and blood test results. In addition to general information on health and wellness, consumer health platforms provide Canadians with access to their own health information which is key to promoting the proactive management of one's health.

Consumer Health Applications
    ----------------------------

Consumer health applications provide individuals with the ability to collect, retrieve, manage, use and share personal health information through secure electronic channels.

The Infoway pre-implementation consumer health application certification is relevant to those health information technology solutions including:

-   Devices provided to users;
    -   Applications that run on users' personal computers or Local Area
        Networks;
    -   Applications that run, and provide services from, a network-resident
        location (ASP services); or
    -   Any combination of the above.

The certification criteria are intended to cover all possibilities, except stand-alone devices which do not share personal information beyond the device.

Client Registries
    -----------------

A client registry is an essential component of an EHR system that supports the centralized storage and retrieval of client (patient) identification data, and enterprise client identifiers (ECIDs).

The Infoway pre-implementation client registry certification is relevant to vendors providing client registries at the national, jurisdictional, regional or local level.

Provider Registries
    -------------------

A provider registry is an essential component of an EHR system, providing a centralized repository for the storage and retrieval of provider identification data and enterprise provider identifiers. Provider registries allow each physician, pharmacist or other member of the health care system to be uniquely identified.

The Infoway pre-implementation provider registry certification is relevant to vendors providing provider registries at the national, jurisdictional, regional or local level.

Immunization Registries
    -----------------------

Immunization registries are core elements of EHR systems and are considered to be part of the collection of services provided by the shared record system. These registries support the centralized storage and retrieval of immunization events and client (patient) immunization profiles.

The immunization registry pre-implementation certification allows for assessment of an immunization registry application alone, or as an application-based service offering.

About Infoway Certification Services

Infoway Certification Services were developed to help accelerate the introduction of private and secure EHR systems that leverage Canada's substantial investments in electronic health. At the end of 2009, 294 EHR system projects were underway across Canada. Many of them are capturing and storing the personal health information of Canadians at the point of care.

Infoway Certification Services help ensure EHR system investments conform to pan-Canadian privacy, security, and interoperability standards, as well as functionality and management standards in use across the country. The pan-Canadian interoperability standards refer to the data and message transference terminology understood and agreed upon by all users of an EHR. Such standards are intrinsic to the development and adoption of EHR projects compatible with a pan-Canadian electronic health information system because they facilitate information exchange and are the building blocks of the foundation for an interconnected EHR across Canada.

Infoway certification helps to increase the recognition, acceptance and adoption of trusted, interoperable health-information technology solutions in the Canadian marketplace.

How do vendors apply for certification?

Health-information technology vendors in the Canadian market can apply for any of the seven pre-implementation certifications offered by Infoway. Vendors can register on the Infoway website to receive more information about the application process for certification as well as to stay informed about upcoming Certification Services announcements.

Vendors can also request the Guide to Pre-implementation Certification Services, designed to provide them with all the information needed to apply for certification, participate in the assessment of their products and receive certification for the pre-implementation phase.

To learn more about Infoway Certification Services, visit: www.infoway-inforoute.ca/certificationservices.

For further information: Media: Dan Strasbourg, Director, Corporate Communications, Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3424; Vendors: Shelagh Maloney, Executive Director, External Liaison and Certification Services, Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3168; Laurie Rogers, National Industry Executive, Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3414