While offering advice is easy to do, I typically refrain from doing so with people that I don’t know well. There are many reasons for this “policy”, all of which are beyond the scope of this blog post. Despite this policy, I am going to offer Ron Sapsford, Deputy Minister for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and acting President and CEO for the Ontario eHealth Agency some advice. With all the recent media coverage surrounding eHealth Ontario, I respectfully suggest that there is a great opportunity to promote the Ontario eHealth strategy and explain why spending on eHealth is an investment in the future sustainability of our healthcare system.
Telling the eHealth story won’t be an easy job, at least not initially, as the media will try to focus attention on the allegations of spending irregularities. However, I believe that remaining silent may be detrimental to the eHealth agenda. Already I am seeing signs that people are questioning investments in healthcare IT and portraying them as taking money away from other healthcare spending priorities. I think it is critical to show that eHealth is a key element in transforming our healthcare system so that it is sustainable and continues to offer quality, universal services to all citizens.