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E-Health

E-health is about getting the right information into the right hands at the right time. The electronic health record (EHR) is a fundamental building block, but e-health extends far beyond the EHR to include provider and client registries, laboratory information systems, diagnostic imaging, telehealth, drug information systems, public health surveillance, knowledge exchange, continuous medical education, and financial and information management systems.

E-Health Strategic Priorities

E-Health is about using information technology to modernize our health system… It supports improvements to patient care, access and safety, and promotes enhanced accountability and efficiency. Health providers need e-Health because without good information, they cannot make proper decisions.”
– Ontario e-Health Forum

The Ontario E-Health Council sets strategic priorities for the province, with input from various sector councils. Community mental health and addiction organizations provide input through the Continuing Care e-Health Council (CCeHC). Other sector councils include Public Health, physicians, hospitals, laboratories, and pharmacies (future). Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) are also developing their own e-health plans to support integration. For a provincial overview, see Ontario e-Health Initiatives.

The Continuing Care e-Health Council, whose motto is “Enabling One Person One Record,” currently guides three major project streams designed to address each of the sector’s e-health priorities:

  1. Access and Collaboration
    Care providers in the broader health sector need to be able to electronically share and re-use information with one another safely and securely.
  2. Assessment and Care
    Clients and patients should be assessed in the same way across the sector no matter who or where they go to access health care services.
  3. Business Systems
    Care provider organizations should be able to gather and record information in similar formats to better report and analyze organizational activity and results. The projects aim to create universally acceptable clinical and business standards across the sector and have the potential for cross-sector application.

For information about continuing care projects, see www.ehealthontario.ca.