As mentioned in a previous blog post, I attended the annual HIMSS conference held this year in sunny Orlando. Like Crysta Anderson who recently blogged about how social media friendly the event was, I too was impressed by the extent to which HIMSS encouraged use of social media. From free wi-fi (something not available at the Toronto Metro convention centre except in select locations for last year’s OHA HealthAchieve conference) to a social media booth, bloggers and tweeters were made to feel welcome and were encouraged to share their views and experiences.
Will the annual Canadian eHealth conference scheduled to take place this year in Toronto be as social media friendly? Hopefully the experience will be better than it was at last year’s event in Vancouver – hardly anyone was tweeting from the event. COACH, are you listening? Besides having a twitter handle, what will you be doing to encourage bloggers? Also, vendors, take note. A number of vendors at HIMSS held tweetups in their exhibit booths and GE Healthcare even treated a number of bloggers (including me) to an evening a Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Greg Reed, eHealth Ontario’s newish CEO, opened the 2nd day of the joint Ontario Hospital Association / COACH eHealthAchieve conference in Toronto. This event marked the second time in just under a month that I had an opportunity to listen to Mr. Reed give an update on eHealth Ontario and I will confess that I did not expect to learn anything new from Mr. Reed’s latest presentation. For the most part, my expectations were met. Much of what Mr. Reed had to say can be found in my 13 October 2010 blog post about his presentation at an ITAC vendor forum. However, while Mr. Reed’s talk did not differ substantially in substance, it offered a considerably evolved articulation of eHealth Ontario’s role as well as further glimpses into eHealth Ontario’s as yet to be revealed strategic plan.
According to Mr. Reed, eHealth Ontario will lead by serving Ontario’s healthcare providers (what Mr. Reed calls as “servant leader” approach. In this role, eHealth Ontario will:
- Leverage provider insight, investments to date, and best practices
- Accelerate progress on local and regional eHealth initiatives
- Normalize local and regional initiatives through standards, best practices, and architecture
- Coordinate the activities of providers to minimize duplication and promote replication and reuse
- Deliver core infrastructure and provincial systems that benefit multiple providers and whose cost is greater than any one provider can justify
Mr. Reed explained that eHealth Ontario will fund local and regional projects as well as deliver core infrastructure and provincial systems. These investments will be made in projects that:
- Contribute to the overall convergence towards a provincial electronic health record for all Ontarians
- Result in systems that are interoperable with other local, regional, and provincial systems
- Adhere to provincial standards and practices
- Move as much patient information as possible to front line care providers
Brand new at this event was a commitment to some form of personal health record. Mr. Reed stated that eHealth Ontario would have in place, by early 2013, a standard for packaging and sharing an individual’s personal health information and that he expected at least pilot implementations to follow not long after. Mr. Reed also amended his previous articulation of eHealth’s overarching goal to include the subject of care as well as the person delivering the care. This enhanced focus on the patient perspective for eHealth was further reinforced in a video produced by eHealth Ontario (shared by Mr. Reed during the presentation) that offers patient as well as provider and health IT professional perspectives on electronic health records.
It is clear that eHealth Ontario’s articulation of who they are and what role they play is becoming crisper and more concise. Details regarding a revised strategic plan are still unclear and no timetable as to when this plan might be released were offered.
P.S. Following my initial post, eHealth Ontario contacted me to clarify Greg’s remarks regarding PHR deployment. eHealth Ontario believes that if prototype PHR applications can be developed at the same regional integration hubs are deployed, than PHR pilots may be available in some part of the province as early as 2013.
The OHA Board recently identified the strategic performance indicators for its new 2010-2013 strategic plan. Of particular note, “Health Information Technology Adoption” was selected as one of the performance indicators. The complete list of indicators includes:
- Number of Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Patients
- Patient Satisfaction
- Staff Engagement
- Patient Safety Composite
- Adoption of Governance Leading Practices
- Wait Times Composite
- Health Information Technology Adoption
- Cost per Capita
According to the OHA, the next steps with respect to use of these indicators include “a review of the eight indicators by selected industry experts and development of definitions, baselines and targets”. I do hope that the Health IT industry has a role to plan in refining the indicator related to Health Information Technology Adoption. ITAC Health, do you have a position on this matter?