eHealth Ontario improves the way Ontarians with diabetes receive care

TORONTO, Nov. 16 /CNW/ - The value of ehealth was brought to life today by Rob Devitt, Interim President and CEO of eHealth Ontario, as he told a packed room at the Ontario Hospital Association's 2009 HealthAchieve conference that eHealth Ontario was the driving force behind the work to identify the 906,577 patients living with diabetes and match them with their almost 9,000 family physicians.

"This is a first for Ontario," said Rob Devitt, Interim President and CEO of eHealth Ontario. "The results, obtained through the agency's Baseline Diabetes Dataset Initiative, show that just one in three Ontarians with diabetes are getting cholesterol and blood sugar levels tested and eyes examined at regular intervals. Knowing the number of Ontarians living with diabetes - and the test and exams they are receiving - will assist physicians to provide improved care to their patients."

    Through this innovative mining of data, eHealth Ontario has also
identified the following:

    -   55 per cent of Ontarians with diabetes received an A1C test in the
        last six months;
    -   68 per cent of Ontarians with diabetes received an LDL test in the
        last year; and,
    -   64 per cent of Ontarians with diabetes received a retinal exam in the
        last two years.

In addition to highlighting the advancements in diabetes management, Mr. Devitt also acknowledged the challenges that eHealth Ontario has faced over the past six months and recognized that in the agency's eagerness to produce tangible results it fell short in meetings taxpayers' expectations. The CEO addressed the concrete steps taken to demonstrate value for money and regain public trust.

    The conference was an opportunity to highlight the achievements that have
been made by eHealth Ontario over the past year including;

    -   Publishing Ontario's first ehealth strategy (2009-2012);
    -   Enabling the integration of Ontario's Diagnostic Imaging and Picture
        Archiving Communication Systems (DI/PACS) which established common
        repositories for sharing information across the healthcare system;
    -   Using innovative electronic medication prescribing to prevent adverse
        drug interactions in Sault Ste. Marie and the Georgian Bay area;
    -   Enabling neurosurgeons to remotely review head trauma images to make
        critical decisions about emergency patients - saving lives, lessening
        family distress and avoiding costly transfers; and
    -   Highlighting the progress that has been made towards the development
        of province-wide client and provider registry identity systems that
        will serve as a key part of ensuring security of the ehealth system.

"ehealth is invaluable to Ontario's healthcare system," said Mr. Devitt. "We must not lose sight of this as we work together to improve patient safety and the sustainability of our system."

eHealth Ontario is a new organization that plays the leading role in harnessing technology and innovation to improve patient care, safety, and access in support of the Ontario government's health strategy. eHealth Ontario published the first ehealth strategy for Ontario in March 2009, which is focused on providing a comprehensive, patient-focused, secure and private electronic system. eHealth Ontario will drive the transformation of Ontario's health care system, building toward an electronic health record for all Ontarians by 2015.

SOURCE eHealth Ontario

For further information: For further information: Heather Brown, Communications Advisor, eHealth Ontario, (416) 586-4238,

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