The next time a patient in Newfoundland or Labrador walks into the doctor’s office, he or she might discover the doctor no longer takes notes in a file; instead, the physician will receive and record medical information on a computer. The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) is in the process of implementing an electronic health records (EHR) system, which means that patients’ health information can easily be transferred electronically between authorized healthcare providers. At the end of May, NLCHI announced that it had chosen
to deliver the solution which will eventually be province-wide.
One of the challenges in this project is integrating all of NLCHI’s data, explained Gary Folker, Orion Health in Canada’s senior vice president. However, Folker added, Orion has the tools to make the transition to using EHRs smoother and less cumbersome. Orion will be deploying its Rhapsody Integration Engine to pull data from a number of existing systems. “This capitalizes on current investments,” Folker said. Currently, other systems exist, although there is no standard format that would allow sharing. Once the data is integrated into Rhapsody, it will be formatted according to a province-wide standard and stored in the Concerto Clinical Data Repository. When an authorized health professional wishes to view a patient’s EHR, he or she will use the Concerto Clinical Portal to retrieve it and view the information.
Folker admitted that another major hurdle will be to ensure that all of the province’s healthcare providers adopt the technology. Moreover, Folker said, healthcare providers must be properly trained to best utilize the technology’s capabilities. Orion has teamed up with NLCHI to identify healthcare professionals’ needs and to provide any assistance necessary. Folker added that possible solutions include holding onsite or remote training sessions for users.