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Electronic health records

PEI’s system for all hospitals is set to go live

CHARLOTTETOWN – All Prince Edward Island hospitals will begin using a Clinical Information System (CIS) on April 1. “The system will allow healthcare providers to gather and access patient information electronically, in a secure manner,” said Health Minister Doug Currie. “The implementation of the CIS in hospitals across the province represents a significant step toward the development of an Electronic Health Record for the province.”

The CIS will begin to provide electronic access to hospital records, eventually eliminating the need to copy and transfer paper versions of medical records. This reduces the risk of error and improves the safety and security of medical records.

The CIS will also help prevent the occurrence of duplicate medical tests, help reduce the risk of drug reactions in patients, and reduce the need for patients to answer the same series of questions each time they receive treatment.

The public will see a change in the admitting and registration process as the CIS is introduced at all hospitals.

A provincial hospital record requires all patient records to be identified using a number that is consistent across the province. All patients will be asked for their Provincial Health Number, found on their orange provincial health card, when they are admitted to a hospital or registering for a service, such as lab testing. The provincial health card will replace the individual health cards that were formerly used at each hospital.

Continuing to provide the best possible patient care remains a top priority during the transition to the CIS. Physicians and hospital staff across the province have worked to plan, prepare, and train for the introduction of the new system.

“All efforts have been made to ensure that it is introduced with little or no impact to the services provided at Island hospitals. The CIS will update existing technology in the Registration, Pharmacy and Lab Departments in Island hospitals,” said Brenda Campbell, project director for the CIS.

“Later this year, and in the spring of 2009, the CIS will expand to include nursing documentation and physician orders, and will support Surgery and Emergency Departments.”

Future phases of the project will build on the CIS foundation to create a comprehensive Electronic Health Record (EHR) for Islanders. When fully implemented, the province’s EHR will provide healthcare providers with secure electronic access to patients’ medical records, including test results and medication history.