Saskatchewan proceeds along path to
SASKATOON – Dr.
George Miller (pictured), president of the Saskatchewan Medical
Association, has informed members in a letter that four EMR vendors that
have previously gained preferred vendor status are progressing through
the validation process. One company, Optimed, has been granted ‘approved
vendor’ status, having completed the conformance testing, implementation
pilot and Master Standing Agreement.
Any physicians in Saskatchewan who are currently using this product may
now apply and become eligible for EMR program funding as of September 1
and may also qualify for retroactive funding.
Another preferred vendor, Med Access, has signed the Master Standing
Agreement and has completed all the required conformance testing. The
company will be an approved vendor once it schedules and successfully
completes its first pilot implementation in the province.
Practice Solutions has also signed the MSA. The Saskatchewan Medical
Association is working with Practice Solutions to schedule the remaining
conformance testing processes and the implementation pilot.
Nightingale Informatix has completed its initial round of conformance
testing. The SMA is working with Nightingale to schedule the remaining
conformance testing, contract, ASP site visit, and pilot implementation
work as soon as possible.
Physicians who have already been using a qualified EMR solution from the
Approved Vendor list will become eligible to receive a retroactive
payment of $500 for every month since April 1, 2008 they have used that
EMR, once they have met all requirements under the EMR program.
Dr. Miller said that in response to member’s feedback through the last
Representative Assembly, the Board has approved expansion of retroactive
payment funding to physicians who are using one of a limited number of
EMR solutions that did not qualify as Preferred Vendors. In order to
qualify, these solutions must meet a minimum level of technical and
functional specifications and have been approved and listed through a
formal process by a provincial EMR program in another province as of
April 1, 2008.
In order to receive this funding the physician will need to meet the
requirements of the EMR program and convert to a qualified EMR solution
prior to March 31, 2010. Extensions of this date will be considered
where a date for conversion to the new system is not practical by March
31, as long as a contract with an approved vendor is signed and the
physician has met the requirements for the EMR program by that time.
Change management assistance is available to all clinics as part of the
EMR program. This assistance is designed to ensure a smooth transition
to one of the qualifying EMR solutions, said Dr. Miller, and to enable
physicians to utilize the full capabilities of the new technologies,
including provincial EHR services such as electronic lab results as they
“Whether you are moving from a paper-based medical records system or
converting from another EMR solution, these change management services
are an important element of the EMR program,” said Dr. Miller. “We are
pleased to announce Myrna Ferster has joined the SMA as an EMR Change
Management Advisor. The team of Roy Robb, Myrna Ferster and Danielle
Post, with support from the Transition & Change Management Team at the
Ministry of Health’s Health Information Solution Centre, will work with
you and your clinic staff to walk you through the EMR process and
provide as much assistance as you require to ensure a successful
Peer to Peer Program
As part of the Ministry of Health and Canada Health Infoway Peer to Peer
program, six physicians in the province have been trained to provide
support to other physicians during the move to one of the qualified EMR
solutions. The peers will provide their expertise and answer questions
or concerns from a “physician’s viewpoint.”