Government & policy
Sarah Kramer appointed CEO of eHealth
– Sarah Kramer (pictured), an executive with high-level experience in
Canada’s healthcare IT sector, has been appointed to lead the new
eHealth Ontario agency. The appointment was made by the Board
of Directors of eHealth Ontario, the new agency created to
harness information and technology to improve patient care in Ontario.
Ms. Kramer has served as Vice-President and Chief Information Officer
with Cancer Care Ontario, as well as Lead for the Wait Time Information
Management Strategy to reduce wait times in Ontario.
“Sarah Kramer is a practical, results-orientated healthcare leader with
a public track record of achievements in multiple jurisdictions,” said
Dr. Alan Hudson, Chair of eHealth Ontario. “Her leadership has advanced
evidence-based decision making and patient safety, and I am confident
she will continue that success with eHealth Ontario.”
Ms. Kramer’s appointment is effective immediately, with a start date of
Nov. 3, 2008. She was scheduled to give her first public address as
President and CEO of eHealth Ontario at the annual Ontario Hospital
Association (OHA)conference in Toronto, the first week of November.
“I’m honoured and excited to take on this important leadership role with
eHealth Ontario,” said Ms. Kramer. “This new agency will play a critical
role in achieving the Ontario government’s overall health strategy of
building a safer and sustainable healthcare system that leads to
improved patient care.”
The key priorities of eHealth Ontario include: creating a Diabetes
Registry that will ensure people with diabetes in the province are
receiving the best possible care; establishing an e-prescribing system
to eliminate hand-written prescriptions and reduce medication errors;
and developing an e-health portal which will allow healthcare providers
and patients to easily and securely access the health information they
need to deliver and receive better care.
The agency will also oversee the development of a province-wide
electronic health record system by 2015 that will be used to improve
healthcare delivery, increase patient safety, reduce emergency room wait
times and ultimately create a more effective healthcare system. eHealth
Ontario will work with the Office of the Information and Privacy
Commissioner/Ontario (IPC)to ensure the protection of personal health
Sarah Kramer’s Bio
Sarah Kramer is a leading senior healthcare executive who has served in
high level positions for the Nova Scotia and Ontario governments and in
healthcare organizations in Ontario. Ms. Kramer has a deep knowledge of
healthcare systems management and planning, operations management,
change management, and information management and technology.
She is known for her unwavering, passionate commitment to delivering
practical, concrete results that improve the co-ordination of healthcare
services, facilitate better collaboration among providers, and deliver
better, safer healthcare to patients.
Prior to her appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer of
eHealth Ontario, she served since 2004 as Vice President and Chief
Information Officer (CIO) at Cancer Care Ontario. In this role, Ms.
Kramer focused on building provincial information tools, data stores and
technology to improve provider and system performance, innovation and
accountability – with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for
Ontario’s cancer patients.
Additionally, Ms. Kramer led the development and implementation of the
information infrastructure to support Ontario’s Wait Time Strategy,
including the establishment of the province-wide e-health application –
the Wait Times Information System (WTIS) - and the Provincial Client
The WTIS, an integral part of the province’s strategy to reduce wait
times, is now being used by over 2,500 physicians and has contributed to
improving access to care for over one million patients per year. The
client registry contributes to the foundation for Ontario’s electronic
Previously, Ms. Kramer served as the CIO for the Nova Scotia Department
of Health. Under her leadership, Nova Scotia implemented a province-wide
hospital-based electronic health record. She also played a leadership
role in advancing Atlantic and national collaboration, public/private
sector partnerships, and worked closely with Canada Health Infoway in
the developmentof their inaugural business plan.
Prior to her Nova Scotia experience, Ms. Kramer held a number of senior
positions in Ontario’s healthcare, government and private sectors. She
was a senior advisor to the Secretary of Cabinet (Policies and
Priorities) regarding the development and implementation of the
government’s strategic policy framework, legislative strategy and
agenda, annual budget and cross-government restructuring initiatives.
In addition, Ms. Kramer has worked for a private healthcare consulting
company where she played a leadership role in a range of strategic and
operational projects across Canada and the United States. Ms. Kramer
graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1988. She has
also been featured in CIO Magazine (March 2007) and is the recipient of
the Leadership in the Field of Health Informatics Award from
COACH(November 2006), Canada’s Health Informatics Association.
Her leadership success in reducing wait times in Ontario won her and her
team at Cancer Care Ontario national recognition in 2007 when they were
awarded the Gold Award for Innovative Management from the Institute of
Public Administration of Canada(IPAC) and the prestigious Diamond Award
at the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA).