Media Statement - Canada Health Infoway welcomes OAG report

TORONTO, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) is keen to see the Office of the Auditor General of Canada report on electronic health records (EHRs) made public on November 3, 2009.

"Although we cannot discuss the specific elements of the Auditor General's report until it is officially tabled, we do think the report will reassure Canadians about how these funds have been put to work for their benefit," said H. Arnold Steinberg, Chairman of Infoway's Board of Directors.

"Infoway has been consistently audited and evaluated over the years," added Richard Alvarez, President and CEO. "In addition to annual independent compliance and financial audits, we recently underwent a mid-term performance evaluation and two technical reviews, which were extremely positive and shared with our funders at Health Canada. Wherever opportunities to strengthen our approach were presented, we embraced them with vigor," he added.

Infoway is a federally-funded organization that jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of EHR projects in Canada. Nearly 300 EHR system projects have been completed or are underway across Canada.

Tangible benefits are already being realized as a result of these investments. For example, more than 75 per cent of all public x-ray film has been replaced by digital images. This technology has increased the productivity of our existing radiologists by 25-30 per cent, which will add the equivalent of up to 500 additional specialists to the health system once fully implemented. More importantly, as a result of these advances, 30-40 per cent of Canadian radiologists are able to support care delivery for remote geographies and populations, thereby improving access for residents while reducing thousands of patient transfers each year.

Similarly, drug information systems that provide health professionals with instant access to medication histories of patients are currently coming on line. These systems promise a significant reduction in adverse drug events and a reduction of inappropriate prescriptions, resulting in a safer health care system for all Canadians.

SOURCE Canada Health Infoway

For further information: For further information: Kirk Fergusson, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Canada Health Infoway, (416) 595-3438

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