Nova Scotia wins GTEC award for lab results
electronic medical record program, called Primary Healthcare Information
Management (PHIM), won a gold medal at the recent GTEC 2008 awards. The
annual awards honour innovation and leadership in the application of
electronic solutions in the public sector.
The ceremony was held at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec,
near the Parliament buildings in Ottawa.
In the photo above,
from left: Lisa Napier(PHIM Program Manager), Michael
Waugh (Concertia Technologies), Eleanor Campbell (HITS-NS, PHIM Service
Delivery Manager), John MacCallum (Nova Scotia Department of Health IS4
Senior Project Manager).
The PHIM program was recognized for its leading-edge eResults project,
which delivers laboratory test results directly into the electronic
medical records of patients. The rapid delivery of results, bypassing
the traditional use of fax and phone, allows physicians to provide
faster care to patients with higher quality information.
Nova Scotia is one of the few jurisdictions in Canada to have
successfully connected labs with physicians using electronic patient
records. What’s more, it was done quickly – the project began in January
2006, went into pilot phase in August 2006, and was then rolled out
across the province in January 2007.
About 33% of Nova Scotia’s primary care physicians are now using an
electronic medical record – a rapid uptake from just 4% in 2005. Most of
them are using a hosted EMR solution supplied by Nightingale Informatix,
which won a competition to supply electronic systems to doctors across
Nightingale worked closely with PHIM to establish interfaces to five
large Laboratory Information Systems, which operate in hospitals
throughout the province.
Quick access to lab results has proven useful to the doctors who have
implemented an EMR – so much so that it is driving further adoption of
electronic medical record systems.
“Our doctors are acquiring EMRs so they can get access to this,” said
Lisa Napier, PHIM Program Manager. “It’s an extremely useful tool. It
gives them the information they need faster than ever before. And that’s
allowing them to provide better care to patients.”
Napier said the system gives the family doctors secure access to results
wherever they happen to be. “We’ve had doctors accessing the system
while waiting in airports. We’ve even had a doctor checking on lab
results for his patients while he was on vacation in Greece.”
The province is working to increase the number of primary care doctors
using EMRs by 15% each year, said Napier. “We hope to reach total
adoption in four years,” she said.
“We are the first province to deliver electronic lab results from all
provincial labs to all provincially approved electronic medical record
systems,” said Nova Scotia Health Minister Chris d’Entremont. “This puts
Nova Scotia in an advantageous position to accelerate adoption of
technology in the health system, which leads to many other benefits.”
For its part, GTEC recognizes outstanding public sector leadership in
innovation, in federal, provincial, municipal and national
classifications. From close to 100 nominations in 2008, thirty-five
medals were given in categories such as International Partnerships,
Service Delivery to Citizens and Businesses, and Cross-Jurisdictional
Partnerships, to name a few.
SCOAP (Society of Collaborative Opportunities and Advancement of
Professionals), a non-profit association dedicated to exploring
achievement and issues related to the management of information and
technology in a knowledge-based society, provides the selection
committee, the judging committee comprised of more than 30 members of
SCOAP, and the awards methodology to the GTEC Distinction Awards.
Nominations are reviewed in two separate processes, which include the
screening and initial evaluation of all nominations, and the selection
of Award Finalists. The a full description of the process can be found
“The Distinction Awards celebrate technology and innovation throughout
industry and Government, which is driving better collaboration, reducing
costs, and improving efficiencies and service delivery to Canadians,”
said Kevin d’Entremont, Executive Director of GTEC 2008. “Many of the
initiatives have demonstrated significant change and tremendous
innovation. We are proud to recognize major IT projects and the
accomplishments of industry and Government’s top IT leaders, their
innovative teams, and their contribution to improve services available
to citizens across Canada.”