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E-health must be a priority, researchers say
Date:2/22/2011

This release is available in French.

An electronic health record system should be the backbone of health care reform in Canada and more must be done to speed up the implementation of this initiative across the country. Furthermore for this system to be put in place effectively, doctors and front line health care workers and administrators must be encouraged to play a more active role. These are the findings of an innovative new study assessing the effectiveness Canada Health Infoway's e-health plan. The study, which was conducted by scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University, was published today in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

"For all levels of care, but particularly primary care, which is where most care is provided in Western Countries, Canada and US have the lowest adoption of e-health records," says Dr. Robyn Tamblyn, lead author of the study and Medical Scientist at the Research Institute of the MUHC. "We have some urgent issues to address to ensure that improved management of chronic disease and timely access to care is enabled through e-health technologies."

The Canada Health Infoway project was implemented by the federal government in 2001 with the goal of accelerating e-health implementation and creating a national system of interoperable electronic health records. After 10 years and $1.6 billion of investment in 280 health information technology projects, Canada is still lags countries such as Denmark, the UK, and New Zealand.

"We need an e-health policy that aligns the spending in health information technology with our priorities in the health care system," says Dr. Tamblyn, who is also a Professor at the Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health at McGill University. "We also need to a
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Contact: Julie Robert
julie.robert@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-934-1934 x71381
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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