Electronic health records
Prairie province launches eChart
WINNIPEG – Manitoba’s electronic
health-record system, known as eChart Manitoba, has been officially
launched by Health Minister Theresa Oswald at Kildonan Medical Centre,
the first site to implement the new system.
“This is the culmination of a great deal of work, including the
development of a number of systems to feed patient information into
eChart, and it is very exciting to see it all come together,” said
Oswald. “As more sites become linked to eChart, it will be possible for
a person’s key health information to travel with them to different
health providers across the province.”
EChart Manitoba is a tool for authorized health-care providers to view
key information about a patient such as dispensed medications,
immunization and laboratory test results. As eChart continues to evolve,
more information from additional sources will feed into eChart, said
The system is designed to provide instant access to the information that
health-care providers require to make informed care decisions leading to
increased patient safety and reduce unnecessary duplication of tests.
The $40-million cost of the program was included in funds announced for
medical information systems in April 2007 and includes a $27.5-million
investment by Canada Health Infoway, the federally funded organization
investing in information and communications technology projects across
Kildonan Medical Centre was the first site to go live with five more
sites quickly following in Winnipeg, Brandon and Notre Dame de Lourdes.
By July, the system will be in use in 30 sites across Manitoba, Oswald
noted. Initially eChart will be available in selected primary-care and
emergency-department settings and additional sites in future phases. The
phases have been scheduled to be of the most benefit to the most
patients, the minister said.
“EChart Manitoba is connecting care across the province,” said Dr.
Ricardo Lobato de Faria of Manitoba eHealth’s Electronic Health Record
Project Steering Committee. “If your family physician is in Notre Dame
de Lourdes and you get tests done in Winnipeg, your doctor will have
immediate, electronic access to those results. In time, every doctor
will have the opportunity to be able to access their patients’ eChart
records so that they have the information they need, when they need it.”
“The milestone we are celebrating today is one that will place the
information that health professionals need to make proper care decisions
in their hands quickly and securely,” said Richard Alvarez, president
and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “When clinicians are properly informed,
patient care is improved, time and money are saved, as are precious
Only those health-care providers who are involved in a patient’s care
are allowed to access that patient’s information. Every authorized user
of the system will have a unique user name and password. All access in
eChart will be tracked and audited, said Oswald. Manitobans have the
option to add a disclosure directive to hide their personal health
information in eChart Manitoba. They can also request a copy of their
information held in the system and find out who has viewed their record.
“It’s critical that health-care providers have the information they need
but just as critical that people’s personal information is protected,”
the minister said.
With the launch of eChart, an awareness campaign will also get underway
to ensure the members of the public are aware of how health information
is managed and secured as well as how they can exert control over their
records. Print, radio and web advertisements will be run over the next
few weeks and information will be available at health service sites as
they join the system.
Formed by Manitoba Health in 2006, Manitoba eHealth is a province-wide
initiative, housed within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. It has
been tasked with the development of health information technology for
Manitoba. Funding for eHealth projects is provided by Manitoba Health
and Canada Health Infoway, an independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the federal government.
Manitobans are encouraged to access
www.connectedcare.ca/echartmanitoba for more information.
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization
funded by the federal government that invests with public sector
partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health
information systems that support a safer, more efficient healthcare
Posted March 10, 2011