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Personal health records

Infoway to certify consumer e-health solutions

TORONTO – Canada Health Infoway has unveiled plans for a new certification service to help emerging consumer health solutions complement and leverage Canada’s investments in e-health systems.

“As Canada’s health informatics industry evolves, it is essential that emerging solutions leverage the progress made in every province and territory that is implementing electronic health records,” said Richard Alvarez (pictured), president and CEO of Infoway.

“The launch of our new certification service will help the vendor community to develop new products accordingly, and will provide buyers and users of those systems with some assurances the solutions are of high quality.”

The new service will provide developers with greater market access, improve the quality of products they develop and enhance testing efficiencies.

Organizations investing in certified solutions can expect a higher degree of confidence that the products they purchase are reliable, interoperable, private and secure.”

“We are pleased that Infoway is moving forward with certification of health information technology solutions,” said Elaine McKnight, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health Sector IM/IT Division, B.C. Ministry of Health. “Having an offering of certified solutions to choose from will help speed implementation and adoption of private, secure and interoperable EHR technologies.”

Infoway will formally launch the certification service in early 2009, at which point it will accept applications for certification from developers of consumer health platforms.

“Canadians want electronic access to their personal health information, which is an important part of managing chronic illness and preventing its onset,” said Alvarez.

“As health IT vendors develop solutions to address this demand, it is essential that they are reliable, safeguard patient privacy and can interoperate with the core elements of the electronic health record infostructure that provinces and territories are implementing, in collaboration with Infoway, throughout Canada.”

Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of electronic health record projects in Canada.

Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable healthcare system for all Canadians.