The following press release came out a few days ago.
Delivering Faster, Smarter and More Coordinated Patient Care
May 11, 2011 (Toronto, ON) - Work is underway to ensure health care providers will be able to share electronic health information for Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents, who represent 47 per cent of the province’s population.
The ConnectingGTA project will allow 700 service providers to securely share patient health information across the five GTA Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Currently, electronic health information is shared in silos within the system. Soon, all 700 service providers will be connected under one "electronic roof" - allowing patient information to move from one service provider to another within the system.
Patients will receive better, faster and more coordinated health care from their providers - and providers will be able to share information more effectively. Patients and providers will also benefit from improved productivity and more timely treatment. It will also reduce duplicate tests on patients which will save time and money.
In the project's first months, priority patient data such as clinical reports, diagnostic images, drug information, and lab test results will be shared. Major technology pieces will also be put in place in the coming months to help providers access and exchange information more easily.
The first phase of ConnectingGTA will be completed in 2013.
ConnectingGTA is the latest in a series of eHealth Ontario milestones which include rolling out the Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS), the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption program, and the recent EMR procurement initiative for Ontario's Community Health Centres.
Today's announcement is part of the government's plan to provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.
"This is a significant milestone towards improving patient care in Ontario. ConnectingGTA will advance Ontario's eHealth strategy by allowing seamless and secure exchange of patient information between approximately 700 health care organizations and their clinicians."
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"ConnectingGTA will improve patient care for almost half of the province's population and lead the way for other regional health system integration hubs in Ontario.This is a perfect example of how collaboration within the health care system is changing the way patients receive care."
- Greg A. Reed, President and CEO of eHealth Ontario
"The ConnectingGTA project represents the very essence of the work underway across Canada to place vital health information in the hands of health care professionals when they need it," said Graham Scott, Chair of the Board, Canada Health Infoway, the organization investing federal dollars in information and communications technologies for health. "Knowing is better than not knowing, particularly when care decisions are being made and Infoway is proud to have invested almost $24M in this project."
- Graham Scott, Board Chair, Canada Health Infoway
"All five GTA Local Health Integration Networks have identified the need for an integrated framework to support access to clinical data from across the care continuum. ConnectingGTA will foster collaboration among health care organizations to build towards the delivery of electronic health records."
- Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Central West Local Health Integration Network
"The ConnectingGTA project will benefit patients, clinicians, health care organizations and the health care system more broadly. It will allow clinicians to make decisions in real-time and enable collaboration amongst the whole health care team - from family physician to acute care specialist - resulting in better patient care."
- Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO, University Health Network
- The University Health Network led the planning phase for ConnectingGTA and will draw on its strong track record to implement this initiative.
- ConnectingGTA is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, eHealth Ontario, Canada Health Infoway, University Health Network, and the five GTA Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) - Central West, Toronto Central, Mississauga Halton, Central and Central East.
Contact information is found here:
The Greater Toronto Area covers over 5.5 million people so this is a really major undertaking being envisaged here.
Note again - the emphasis on provision of information to providers of Healthcare - as opposed to the nonsense PCEHR plans we seem to be stuck with.