Government & Policy
Canada Health Infoway invests $1.4 million in NeCST
MONTREAL – Canada Health Infoway has announced the signing of three
standards projects agreements totalling $1.4 million in investments for
Telehealth, Teleradiology interoperability and National e-Claims
Standard (NeCST) messaging.
Sponsors for these projects are the Canadian Institute for Health
Information (CIHI) and the Canadian Council on Health Services
These projects are part of Infoway’s goal of establishing health
information standards, a key step towards achieving the interoperable
Electronic Health Record (EHR). Standards integrate the exchange of
health information, create the opportunity for cost reduction, and ease
the effort required for replication.
Infoway will invest $1.1 million in Phase 5 of the NeCST messaging
project, a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors,
as well as national provider associations. Canada Health Infoway is
already a significant investor in this project and will leverage the
knowledge gained for future standards EHR solutions projects.
Earlier this year, NeCST became one of the first projects in the world
to receive official recognition under the most recent and advanced
version three of Health Level Seven (HL7 v3), the world’s most
successful messaging standard.
NeCST HL7 v3 helps realize the vision of an interoperable HER through
the establishment of consistent national standards for vocabulary,
billing and claims settlement. CIHI provides project management and
support services for the NeCST initiative.
Investment in this phase of the NeCST project will be used for continued
standards definition and to carry the NeCST suite of messages –
including messaging requirements for pharmacy, vision care, oral health,
chiropractic and physiotherapy and physicians – through the HL7
balloting process. Message development completion is slated for March
The balance of the investment amount will go to fund standards projects
involving Telehealth and Teleradiology.
Infoway will invest in an “Interoperability of Teleradiology Systems”
project designed to leverage, adapt, adopt and/or develop technical
specifications to facilitate interoperability of radiology systems, in
particular the ability to share information, between care facilities.
The scope of the project includes technical specifications for such
capabilities such as collection, storage and management of patient
information, medical images and other related radiology products. The
first phase of the two-phase project involves the definition of
teleradiology business requirements and the creation of an interoperable
teleradiology model. CIHI will provide project management and
coordination services for the project.
Infoway and CCHSA are partnering on an initiative to investigate and
develop national CCHSA Telehealth standards and an accompanying
accreditation program to meet the needs of Telehealth service providers.
Accreditation provides organizations with a process to assess and
improve the quality of their services and a mechanism for identifying
Upon completion of this project, healthcare organizations across Canada
offering Telehealth services will have access to an accreditation
program to help them confirm good practices based on national standards
Infoway’s mission is to accelerate the development of compatible
electronic health information systems across Canada. These systems
provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to complete and
accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about treatment
and diagnosis. The result is a sustainable, more cost-efficient
healthcare system offering improved patient safety and better quality of
care. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit corporation whose
members are the federal, provincial and territorial deputy ministers of
The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent,
pan-Canadian, not-for-profit organization working to improve the health
of Canadians and the healthcare system by providing quality health
information. CIHI’s mandate, as established by Canada’s health
ministers, is to coordinate the development and maintenance of a common
approach to health information for Canada. To this end, CIHI is
responsible for providing accurate and timely information that is needed
to establish sound health policies, manage the Canadian health system
effectively and create public awareness of factors affecting good
CCHSA is a national, non-profit, independent organization whose mission
is to promote excellence in health care and the effective use of
resources in health organizations nationally and internationally in
order to improve the delivery of health services. First incorporated in
1958, CCHSA has been involved in developing and testing standards,
piloting accreditation programs, establishing accreditation processes,
and building confidence in accredited organizations for many years.
CCHSA recognizes that the ultimate beneficiaries of its work are the
people of Canada and beyond.