Mr. William (Bill) Pascal and I were interviewed as part of a qualitative study into Canada’s experience with implementation of electronic health information funded by the Commonwealth Fund and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A report summarizing the result of this study was released today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Mr. Pascal graciously agreed to author a guest post summarizing his thoughts on the key findings from the study.
I read with interest the article in the most recent CMAJ on a Qualitative Study of Canada’s Experience with Implementation of Electronic Health Information. The study brings together the collective views of a broad cross- section of key leaders and influencers in the health care sector, all of whom have long experience in developing policies and or delivering care. I have to declare that I was one of these people.
The interpretation by the authors of this study point to many issues which need to be addressed if we are going to be successful as a country with helping to transform our health care system to better serve Canadians. Two observations I thought were particularly timely. The first about creating a provincial clinical information office is intriguing. We have not done a good job in linking Information technology to health care needs and this could help bridge this gap.
The second issue is about the lack of e-Health policies that will guide the implementation of information technologies to better address our pressing health issues in Canada. The development of these policies need to be undertaken now with the participation of all parties; providers, patients, vendors and governments. Some of these will be unique to jurisdictions while others will require national cooperation and dialogue. I thought the list of policy issues highlighted in the Conclusion section was fairly comprehensive. I would be interested in the viewpoints of others on whether this list is comprehensive or others need to be added.
Chief Technology Officer, Canadian Medical Association