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Government & policy

Quebec approves 18 new computerization projects

QUEBEC CITY – The government of Quebec has launched the health and social services network computerization plan, designed to improve the availability, quality, and continuity of healthcare and services provided in the province of Quebec.

On this occasion, the Conseil des ministres approved 10 new agreements reached with Canada Health Infoway for electronic health record and patient registry projects, as well as 8 telehealth projects.

“The work and preliminary studies carried out since the beginning of 2005 by the ministry and in conjunction with Canada Health Infoway have contributed greatly to the development of our computerization plan,” said Philippe Couillard, Quebec’s health and social services minister. “The approval of these agreements is the launching point for development and expansion projects that will soon produce tangible results for the users of Quebec’s health and social services network and all other stakeholders.”

The President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway, Richard Alvarez, said that “health information is the cornerstone of our healthcare system, and today’s announcement is an important step toward ensuring that healthcare providers are able to quickly access the right information for the benefit of Quebec patients.”

Of the approved projects, the electronic health record project will make it possible to establish a data sharing infrastructure for health information. These systems will be tested in the Montreal and Laval areas, and will then be ready for a rapid migration into other regions of Quebec.

The patient registry project will make it possible to securely store information that will uniquely identify the users of Quebec’s health and social services network.

In addition, planning for eight telehealth projects will be carried out. Telehealth uses information and communications technologies to deliver health services, expertise and information remotely.

The eight projects are very diverse and are sponsored by the Integrated University Health Networks (RUIS):

• Telehomecare centres for patients with complex chronic diseases in the territory covered by Université de Montréal’s RUIS.

• A telepathology network linking the RUIS clinics of Université Laval with its faculty of medicine.

• A virtual health centre to support the work of the health professionals of McGill University’s RUIS.

• A teleconsultation and tele-education network geared toward professional development for Université Laval’s RUIS.

• Telehomecare to improve the availability, efficiency and coordination of ultra-specialized services for patients requiring ventilatory assistance at home for McGill University’s RUIS.

• Real-time clinical support for wound treatment for Université de Sherbrooke’s RUIS.

• A multidisciplinary tele-education and clinical support network linking Université de Montréal’s RUIS clinics to its faculty of medicine.

• A real-time and remote medical consultation network, including teleconsultation, teleassistance, telementoring and tele-education on the territory covered by Université de Sherbrooke’s RUIS.

The ten projects or project stages will cost $25 million to complete. Of this amount, $19 million will come from Canada Health Infoway.

“I am confident,” concluded Quebec’s health and social services minister, “that doctors, professionals and other stakeholders in the health and social services network will demonstrate their unwavering commitment and professionalism by rising to the challenge of integrating these new methods of providing services to ensure the well-being of network users.”

About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway is an independent not-for-profit organization that invests with public sector partners across Canada to implement and reuse compatible health information systems which support a safer, more efficient healthcare system. These systems provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to complete and accurate patient information, enabling better decisions about treatment and diagnosis. The result is a sustainable, healthcare system offering improved quality, accessibility and productivity.