The 2010 National Physician Survey (NPS) offers some hard data on adoption and use of electronic medical records by Canadian physicians. In response to a question regarding “Thinking about your MAIN patient care setting, which of these describes your record keeping system?”, respondents indicated that:
- 16.1% use electronic records
- 34.1% use combination of paper and electronic charts
- 37.6% use paper charts only
- 12.2% either did not respond or indicated that the question was not applicable to them
So, it would appear that slightly more than 50% of Canadian physicians use some form of electronic chart. Interestingly, of these physicians, roughly two thirds still use a mix of electronic and paper charts.
The NPS does not provide detailed data on use of EMRs in physician offices. The closest statistic in this regard is the answer to the question “In which setting do you use electronic records most often”, Respondents indicated:
- 43.1% in “Office/community clinic/community health centre”
- 38.8% in “Hospital/AHSC/Emergency Department”
- 1.5% in “University/faculty of medicine/research unit”
- 0.4% in “Nursing home/home for aged”
- 1.5% in “Other” settings
- 0.9% felt that the question was not applicable
- 13.8% did not respond
For as long as I have been attending the annual Canadian eHealth conference (known to many “old timers” as the COACH conference), the Blues Night has been the place where people at all levels let their hair down (those who still have hair) and have a good time. Heck, I still remember dancing with Linda Miller in Quebec City. Where else can do you get the chance to boogey with an Assistant Deputy Minister?
This year, the blue’s night organizers had a special treat in store. In addition to the professional musicians, the opening act was a group of well known eHealth leaders with varying levels of music ability. The “eHealth Lonely Hearts Club Band” served up a short set of familiar songs (at least for me, but then again, my hair has turned grey). While the melodies might have been familiar, the lyrics to several songs were modified to have special relevance to audience. I will post the lyrics as separate blog posts.
If you look at pictures of the audience, you can see me, beer in hand, singing along with the band. I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s performance and
hope that we can get the band together again next year. If we do, I will be there again, in the front row, singing my heart out.
Although the term Web 2.0 is overused and over hyped, the basic concept behind Web 2.0 is still worth considering … user generated content, interaction, and engagement. In addition to various on-line mechanisms to promote greater openness and transparency regarding eHealth standards and policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that it will make federally generated community health data available through the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI). According to the HHS, CDHI is “turning to Web application developers, mobile phone applications, social media, and other cutting-edge technologies” to “put our public health data to work”. According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:
“Our national health data constitute a precious resource that we are paying billions to assemble, but then too often wasting …. As a nation, we can and should harness the exploding creativity in our information technology and media sectors to help us get the most public benefit out of our data investments.”
Anyone aware of similar initiatives in other countries? I continue to be amazed at the extent to which the US gov’t is aggressively pursuing an “open government” policy. I wonder if the Canadian Institute for Health Information is considering a similar initiative? Might be a policy for ITAC Health, on behalf of their members, to promote.