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Government & policy

Saskatchewan reorganizes its e-health efforts

REGINA – Health Minister Don McMorris (pictured) has announced the creation of eHealth Saskatchewan, a Treasury Board Crown Corporation that will oversee the completion of the provincial electronic health record system.

Transforming the Saskatchewan Health Information Network (SHIN) into eHealth Saskatchewan addresses a key recommendation of the Patient First Review, which was completed last year. Commissioner Tony Dagnone urged the health system to develop a provincial plan for the continued successful implementation of a provincial electronic health record system.

“Residents told us in the Patient First Review that we need to better co-ordinate their healthcare,” McMorris said. “We heard examples of misplaced, unavailable or scattered health information resulting in errors, adverse events and duplication of tests. Accessible patient information is vital to improving service integration and co-ordinating patient care.”

eHealth Saskatchewan will be operational by Spring 2011. Its representative board will oversee the continued development of the eHealth systems and technological infrastructure healthcare professionals use to share patient information securely and efficiently. The ultimate result will be a One Patient: One Record Health Care System, the government said.

eHealth Saskatchewan will be led by a six member board composed of representatives from partnering groups, including the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, health regions, the business community and the provincial government.

Saskatchewan residents already benefit from the first components of a provincial electronic health record system including: the Pharmaceutical Information System (PIP) and the Diagnostic Imaging and Picture Archiving System (RIS-PACS).

The government has previously estimated an electronic health record for Saskatchewan residents could be fully in place by 2013-14 at an estimated price tag of about $600 million.

Posted January 13, 2011