A $500 million investment made public by the Government of Canada in Budget 2010.
Of the total amount allocated, $380 million of the new money will be directed to speed up the implementation of electronic medical record systems.
“A number of provinces and territories are making solid progress developing systems to electronically store the patient information that is far too often unavailable when health providers need it,” said Alvarez. “The time has come to shift our attention to the front-lines, where the lion’s share of care is delivered.”
EMRs will provide physicians and nurse practitioners with a better picture of their patients’ overall health so better informed care decisions can be made.
They also allow health care professionals to record their clinical notes electronically, eliminating the need for inefficient paper-based systems.
“Electronic medical records will allow health professionals to access the vital patient information that is too often lacking in a paper-based environment,” added Alvarez. “Currently, 37 per cent of community-based physicians have adopted EMR systems across Canada. The new funding is intended to significantly increase their use in clinics, clinician offices and ambulatory care clinics.”
In addition, funding from the $500 million invested by the Government of Canada will be used to support consumer health, diagnostic imaging and telehealth solutions.