On May 28th, 2012 Dr. John Halamka, a physician and highly regarded healthcare IT thought leader, delivered the opening keynote address at the annual Canadian eHealth conference held this year in Vancouver, BC. Dr. Halamaka demonstrated how health IT is transforming the hospital in which he works and offered practical advice on how Canadian healthcare organizations and professionals can realize similar benefits. Fail to innovate, he warned, and “you risk becoming a BlackBerry in an iPhone world.”
Check out the rest of my article in Technology for Doctors
Check out my latest article in Technology for Doctors, an online publication for which I write a monthly column. You can find it here.
I’d like to hear views on whether we need yet another buzzword. I argue that mHealth will cause more confusion among potential users and divide the health IT community at a time when it should be united.
In advance of its upcoming annual General Council in Niagara Falls next week, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has released a report entitled “Health Care Transformation in Canada: Change that Works, Care that Lasts”. This report describes the CMA’s roadmap for transforming the Canadian health system in order to “improve the health of the population at large, to improve the health care experiences of patients, and to improve the value for money spent on health and health care”.
In its report, the CMA describes a “Framework for Transformation” organized around five pillars:
- Building a culture of patient-centred care
- Incentives for enhancing access and improving quality of care
- Enhancing patient access along the continuum of care
- Helping providers help patients
- Building accountability / responsibility at all levels.
Under the “Helping providers help patients pillar”, the CMA has identified two strategic imperatives:
- Ensuring Canada has an adequate supply of health human resources
- More effective adoption of health information technologies
The CMA contends that “Multi-billion dollar investments made in Canada on HIT, however, have not resulted in significant benefits to providers or patients … due to the fact that all jurisdictions have taken a top-down approach to their HIT strategies”. The CMA points out that IT investments at the points of care “where the actual benefits of HIT will be realized” have been quite low and argues that “we need to move from a top-down approach to one that gives all providers, in particular physicians, the lead role in determining how best to use HIT to improve care, improve safety, improve access and help alleviate our growing health human issue”.
My colleague Rosie Lombardie, editor of Technology for Doctors magazine, recently wrote an excellent article on the CMA’s proposed HIT strategy. This article includes numerous quotes from Dr. Anne Doig, CMA’s President. Dr. Doig pulls no punches in her assessment of how HIT funding has been spent to date and how it should be spent in the future. For example, Dr. Doing states, “The focus has been on building systems for electronic health records (EHR) instead of electronic medical records (EMR)”. She further asserts that “If they had started at the ground level, we would have had 99 percent of doctors on EMRs by now. We would have pushed local health authorities to respond to our demand for downloadable lab results and other practicalities.”
I encourage you to read Rosie’s article. As a practicing physician with practical experience using an EMR, Dr. Doig offers a front line perspective on HIT investments. Rosie has done a great job capturing and presenting Dr. Doig’s views.
Thanks to Jerry Zeidenberg, publisher of “Technology for Doctors” and “Canadian Healthcare Technology” magazines, I now have a regular column on Technology for Doctors Online. Check out my inaugural article.