As a result of these efforts, peopleeverywhere are increasingly benefitingfrom web-based information technology,
and savvy web-users are findingthe outdated information systems
traditionally associated with deliveringhealthcare nonsensical. Antiquatedsystems and processes combined withpoor information flow are increasingly resulting in under-use, and misuse of healthcare services. Add to this thepressure from the full spectrum of consumers, payers, and policy makers,
and all eyes are on the sourcesof wasted resources, operational
inefficiencies, and unsafe care.The call for a significant restructuringof our healthcare system is comingfrom the highest levels of government,demanding that the industry takeadvantage of the time, cost, and resourceefficiencies promised by healthcareinformation technology– includingelectronic health records (EHR) and web-based information exchange.To put the fundamentals in place inCanada will cost between $10-billionand $12-billion, or about $300 for every Canadiancitizen,accordingtoastudyby consultingfirmBoozAllenHamiltonInc.However, returns would be enormous,amounting to about $6-billion a year,in the form of improved quality of care,better safety and greater productivity”as Mr. Richard C. Alvarez, Presidentand Chief Executive Officer of CanadaHealth Infoway identified.
Healthcare executives have a uniquechallenge in responding to the eHealthcall to arms, as even new systems may also create inefficiencies and risk forpatients if not utilized properly.Somehow, leaders must enable theirorganizations to evolve while protectingthe financial stability of the institutionand the well-being of the patients. Thisincludes providing the modern tools,training and support to move forwardand evolve their health delivery platform. This can be accomplishedincrementally by growing theuniversal understanding of viable,effective technologies and sharing oursuccesses and failures as an industry.There is no longer any choice about joining the eHealth revolution. It isbecoming the rule, not the exception—andit’sgainingmomentumeverywhere.This is why tools have been introducedto help realize the promise of eHealth. A proven portal solution not only leverages, enhances, and augmentsexisting IT investments, but also evolvesinformation delivery platforms towardsa more open, vendor-neutral, patient-centric environment.
1. Canada Health Infoway provides guidelines and standards for Canadian IT adoption. Infoway's mandate is to provide fully interoperable electronic healthrecords for half of all Canadians by 2009, and the Health Council of Canada has called for full coverage by 2010.
Foreward 1Canada’s HealthSystem 2Web Portals 3Portal Communication Solution 4eHealth Evolution 5Four Underserved Areas 7The Portal Promise 8Technology That Overcomes 10Adoption IssuesCase Study: 12Hamilton Health SciencesThe Future of eHealth 14
Table Of Contents
B R E A K T H R O U G H S O L U T I O N S I N C A N A D I A N H E A L T H C A R E
The past few years have been busy ones for those involvedwith automation of processes within the healthcare industry.
The Promise Of eHealth