Manitoba to invest $16 million in EMRs
– In a drive to speed up the adoption of electronic medical records in
physician practices, Health Minister Theresa Oswald (pictured) announced that
Manitoba will spend $16 million over the next few years to get doctors
working in small community clinics that will make use of EMRs.
The money will be used to pay up to 70 percent of implementation costs
to help doctors’ offices switch over from paper to electronic records
and pay operating costs up to a maximum of $20,000 for the first two
years. The incentive is being offered in conjunction with Canada Health
Infoway, a national program to accelerate the development of electronic
health record projects.
“The ultimate goal is a more connected Manitoba,” said Oswald. “We look
forward to many doctors coming on board now. Oswald made the
announcement at an annual eHealth Conference in Manitoba for provincial
She said about 26 percent of doctors in the province have already
adopted electronic records. The funding will also help them upgrade
Oswald said the province is aiming to boost the figure using EMRs to 70
percent of the province’s roughly 1,300 family or community physicians.
She said a small number of physicians are not convinced switching over
to electronic records is good for their practice; however, she added
many graduating doctors expect patient records to be available at the
click of a mouse. Records could include lab results, X-rays,
prescriptions and medications and appointment scheduling.
Electronic records are expected to improve efficiencies of medical
practices – with faster access to test information and reports, patients
will also be able to receive treatments sooner. Moreover, the need to
order duplicate tests is expected to be reduced.
Access to electronic records also allows physicians to make more
informed decisions about tests and treatments, resulting in better
outcomes for patients.
Posted November 4, 2010