Strategic plan identifies 5 opportunities for action to accelerate digital health in Canada over the next several years to improve the patient experience.
Canada has been on its digital health journey for 10 years with an estimated $7.7 billion in benefits accrued to Canadians and care system as a result of investments in telehealth, drug information systems and diagnostic imaging solutions, according to Canada Health Infoway. Despite the progress made, many still feel innovation in healthcare is falling short in Canada.
“Healthcare in Canada is in dire need of change,” said, Joe Natale, TELUS’ Chief Commercial Officer at the recent Canadian Telecom Summit. Natale also criticized the government for slow progress and lack of healthcare innovation suggesting that there should be a private element to wireless medicine, mobile health and health IT services to improve healthcare. (Mobile Syrup,06/04)
Recognizing how digital health is evolving with the health care system to meet the needs of Canadians, Infoway, an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government released Opportunities for Action: A Pan-Canadian Digital Health Strategic Plan. The refreshed plan outlines health care priorities that digital health solutions can improve the patient experience over the coming years and identifies key opportunities for action.
In 2012, Infoway consulted with more than 500 individual Canadians, clinicians, governments and health care administrators, national associations and vendors to identify new opportunities for action that would increase value in healthcare.
Six broad themes emerged from the consultations describing health care priorities over the next several years, and from these themes, five opportunities for action were developed:
1. Bring Care Closer to Home
Maximize the utilization of remote patient monitoring tools, PHRs, and other consumer health solutions for patients to manage their chronic diseases from the comfort of their home.
2. Provide Easier Access
Provide an enhanced healthcare experience for Canadians through the use of e-health solutions to reduce wait times including e-prescription renewals, etc.
3. Support New Models of Care
Enable person-centered care and continuity of care in every care setting through the effective use of electronic health records, electronic medical records, referral management, electronic discharge summaries, telepathology, chronic disease management and other point-of-care solutions.
4. Improve Patient Safety
Accelerate the deployment of medication management to reduce preventable medical errors. This may require the enhancement and/or replacement of many aging hospital information systems in the acute care setting.
5. Enable a High Performing Health System
Support the creation of new information and evidence for clinical and administrative decision making through clinical analytics to support clinicians, and health system analytics to support LEAN, population health, research, planning, operation and evaluation.
In order to capitalize off these opportunities for action, the plan identifies key enablers that must be established in order to support them. These key enablers include:
- Governance & Leadership
- Policy & legislation
- Resource Capacity, Capability, & Culture
- Privacy & Security
- Interoperable Digital Health Solutions
- Business Case & Benefits Realization
- Practice & Process Change
Read the full report by Infoway Canada here
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