Electronic medical records
N.S. completes EMR implementation in 34
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s hospital information system has now been
implemented in 34 hospitals across eight district health authorities,
making it easier for healthcare workers to access information critical
to their patients’ care. To date, more than one million patients are on
Health Minister Chris d’Entremont announced that the linking of the
eight districts completes one of the most detailed hospital information
system implementations in Canada.
“This system provides doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers
with quick, accurate, and appropriate access to vital health
information,” said Mr. d’Entremont. “This has improved patient care and
will also help us to better monitor, adjust and plan health services so
they are not only effective but are sustainable over the long term.”
Implementation of the information system in the eight health districts
was initiated by the provincial government in March 2001. The total cost
of the project was $55.7 million.
The completion of this project marks an important step towards creation
of an electronic health record for every Nova Scotian and will help
ensure that 7,000 doctors, nurses and other medical staff have the
information and tools they need to provide the best care possible.
Prior to this project, more than 70 percent of the province’s healthcare
facilities did not have the proper information systems in place to
address patient care challenges. Today, these same facilities have
implemented systems and standards that will be linked with existing
systems in the Capital District Health Authority and the IWK Health
Centre to improve patient care for Nova Scotians.
“This was a unique project,” said John Malcom, CEO of the Cape Breton
District Health Authority. “The successful implementation gives our
healthcare professionals a strong information base from which they can
make the most appropriate decisions for their patients. Easy access to
this level of patient information is helping to improve the quality of
care and patient safety.”
The hospital information system has reduced the need for patients to
repeat the same medical history over and over again. Wait times for test
results and X-rays have decreased, as have the number of duplicated
tests and procedures. The system also provides better information about
the quality and access to services, and has provided improvements in
planning for patient services and programs. For example, waiting time
data can now be tracked more accurately.
“This system is an investment that will enable us to manage our
healthcare system more effectively, now and in the future,” said Mr.
d’Entremont. “I want to especially congratulate the healthcare providers
and team members on a successful implementation.”
The hospital information system is a critical component of Nova Scotia’s
comprehensive health information management strategy, which includes
electronic health records.