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Government and Policy

Infoway signs arrangement for client registries

VICTORIA Canada Health Infoway and Initiate Systems, Inc. of Chicago have announced a bilateral arrangement aimed at accelerating the development of Canada-wide electronic health records (EHR). Initiate Identity Hub software can be used by healthcare facilities to create a client registry that accurately identifies patients and can link their medical records from multiple systems and providers.

Client (patient) registries are a foundational piece of an Electronic Health Record, which is a secure and private lifetime record of an individual's key health history and care. A registry securely maintains a patient's demographic information, such as name, date of birth and health access number, and can link with information related to the patient's care and treatment.

Client registries built with Initiate Identity Hub software support secure access to accurate and timely information for healthcare providers, enabling improved diagnosis, treatment and health outcomes for patients. By uniquely identifying each patient, the registry helps reduce the risk of medical errors.

Under the terms of the bilateral arrangement, provinces and territories will be able to acquire Initiate's industry-leading software products and related services through a streamlined set of master agreements and favorable terms and conditions.

"Having a complete and accurate electronic health record for each individual in Canada is key to providing timely, secure access to accurate information throughout the healthcare system," said Bill Conroy, chief executive officer and president of Initiate Systems. "We are pleased to be working with Infoway to offer a client registry solution that instantly and accurately links data about patients, providers and healthcare facilities across all delivery points. Its superior data integrity and data integration will improve the quality and timeliness of, and the access to, accurate patient information."

"Infoway works with the provinces and territories using technology to help make healthcare sustainable in the long-term and provide Canadians with safer, more efficient, more accessible healthcare," said Richard Alvarez, president and chief executive officer of Canada Health Infoway. "Leveraging the investments we've made in successful projects, we've acted as a facilitator negotiating bi-lateral arrangements that bring value to our provincial and territorial partners and offer them attractive conditions to reuse proven solutions."

Initiate Identity Hub software is the underlying EMPI technology for the regional patient registry component of Capital Health's recently launched electronic health record, netCARE, for the Edmonton area. Infoway has invested both with Capital Health and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information in their respective patient registries, which can serve as a model for other jurisdictions.

"The EMPI is a critical component of our clinical portal. Our patient registry accurately matches and instantly links 5.5 million patient charts from existing registration systems across our region. Improving the integrity, access and management of patient data will absolutely enhance the quality and safety of patient care," said Capital Health president and CEO Sheila Weatherill.

"As the first in Canada to implement and use the Initiate products in our province-wide Unique Personal Identifier/Client Registry (UPI), we have realized significant benefit for our health system through the accurate identification of patients," said Steve O'Reilly, CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information. "As we proceed with implementation of provincial pharmacy, diagnostic imaging, and laboratory solutions, it is comforting to know that our person-oriented EHR is being built on such a solid foundation."

In January, KLAS Enterprises, a healthcare research and consulting firm, recently announced that Initiate Systems, Inc., (formerly Madison Information Technologies, Inc.), a provider of Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI) software and services for managing patient identities, received the prestigious Best in KLAS Award for 2003, marking the company's third consecutive Best in KLAS win and fifth consecutive overall KLAS award designation in the past three years.

Initiate also earned the overall highest rating for the past two consecutive KLAS Mid-Year Top 20 Report Cards, further demonstrating the company's commitment to excellence and leadership in the healthcare industry.

Canada Health Infoway's mission is to foster and accelerate the development and adoption of compatible electronic health information systems. Infoway's approach is to invest strategically and work in partnership with stakeholders including the private sector. Infoway acts as a catalyst, leveraging its financial resources through targeted investments and building on best practices. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created following a September 2000 commitment of Canada's First Ministers "to work together to strengthen Canada-wide health infostructure to improve quality, access and timeliness of health care for Canadians." Infoway's members are the federal, provincial and territorial deputy ministers of health.

Initiate Systems, Inc. ( is a provider of Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI) software and services for managing patient and provider identities.