Government & policy
NB’s new health plan includes e-Health
– New Brunswick announced that more than $154 million will be invested
in new and enhanced health services over the next four years as part of
a new Provincial Health Plan.
Health Minister Michael Murphy (pictured) said the investment would be over and
above the estimated $9 billion in funding required to maintain existing
health services over that period.
“Our new health plan sets the course for the transformation of our
health system so that it will meet the needs of patients today and in
the future,” Murphy said. “It is a system that puts patients first and
will be sustainable for future generations.”
In fiscal 2008-09, more than $40 million will be invested in initiatives
contained in the Provincial Health Plan.
Transforming New Brunswick’s Health-care System: the Provincial Health
Plan, 2008-2012, and a companion document on all the initiatives that
are part of the health plan are available online at
A major thrust of the plan includes continued development of the
province’s e-health strategy, including the One Patient One Record
electronic health record. New Brunswick’s upcoming e-health projects
• One Patient One Record (OPOR): Initiatives are under way to develop
and implement elements of an electronic patient record that will
eventually allow information from hospitals, doctors’ offices, Public
Health, Mental Health, pharmacies, laboratories and diagnostic imaging
to be linked together and accessed by authorized care providers anywhere
in the health-care system.
The first components to be implemented include an interoperable
electronic health record repository, a patient registry, a provider
registry, a diagnostic imaging archive, a full drug information system
and a pan-Canadian health surveillance system, as well as selected tele-health
initiatives. These systems are the key building blocks in our vision of
One Patient One Record.
• Enhanced Access to Quality Health-care Services Across New Brunswick
Using Tele-health: This will be accomplished through the planning and
implementation of a provincial scheduling and videoconferencing bridge
• Electronic Patient Self-management Support (Pilot Project): A pilot
project will be undertaken to provide participants with web-based access
to a personal health and wellness record in order to support
self-management of health problems. These records will have the capacity
to store personal health management information such as medications,
clinical lab results and other self-monitoring results such as blood
pressure or blood sugars.
• Extra-Mural, Point-of-care Integrated Information and Communication
Technology System: A new clinical information and remote monitoring
system will be implemented to capture point-of-care information inputted
from service providers or the client. This technology will be used to
support the delivery of quality home healthcare services, as well as
promoting client self-management. This will provide patients at home
with monitoring equipment that will capture basic vitals like blood
pressure and oxygen levels, as well as a health information system that
Extra-Mural Program staff can use in the patient’s home.
• Decision Support Environmental Scan: A review of existing decision
support tools such as electronic documentation templates, reminders,
etc., will be undertaken to identify potential resources for integrating
best practice guidelines in day-to-day primary healthcare settings.
“The greatest opportunities for improving New Brunswickers’ health and
the sustainability of our healthcare system lie in helping people to be
and stay healthy in the first place,” the minister said. “Our health
system must evolve from a ‘find it and fix it’ approach to more of a
‘prevent it, find it and manage it’ philosophy.
“This means placing much greater emphasis on promoting healthy child and
adolescent development, focusing more effort on problems such as mental
health and addictions, continued enhancement of primary healthcare and
strategies to prevent and better manage chronic diseases.”
Murphy said transformation of the healthcare system requires changing
the way it does business.
“To do this, we must build a single, well-integrated provincial system -
one that makes the best use of our human, infrastructure and financial
resources,” he said. “We have already taken steps to modernize our
organizational structures, including moving to two Regional Health
Authorities in order to reduce costly duplication. Now, we need to focus
on the clinical side of health care, which is what the new health plan
is all about.”