What Does eHealth Ontario Do?
eHealth Ontario actively engages new information technology (IT) to improve both quality and access to health care for the people of Ontario. We are enabling doctors and clinicians to talk to one another and share patient information electronically.
Paper records are a thing of the past. Today, doctors are creating electronic health records (EHRs) for their patients that contain all their medical information, including X-rays, test results, ultrasounds and other important data. It’s really no different than the way we use our mobile phones or our home computers to save and store information, send emails and share pictures and videos.
Our job is to deliver a comprehensive, patient-focused, secure and private electronic health record (EHR) system. This will improve the way patients receive care, enhance the clinical experience and make the system more sustainable.
eHealth Ontario connects physicians and health care providers by allowing the transmission of electronic health data across a wide network of electronic health record (EHR) systems throughout the province. By building platforms like the Ontario laboratories information system (OLIS), we allow doctors and clinicians access to important medical tests and results in one centralized registry. We also provide funding to physicians to purchase EMRs and we partner with hospitals to develop EHR systems.
eHealth Ontario is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We also partner with the private sector to deliver electronic health care solutions which support regional planning authorities and private sector vendors who have the expertise to develop information technology (IT) solutions.
eHealth Ontario is committed to practical solutions. We work closely with health care professionals, hospitals, community-based providers, the provincial government and vendors to develop the best solutions for Ontarians.
This philosophy informs our vision for electronic health care. We favour an approach that leverages the significant progress local and regional health service providers have made over the past decade in EHR solutions. The province’s 154 hospital systems have widely adopted electronic record-keeping and, as of June 2012, more than 9,400 community-based clinicians representing approximately 9 million Ontarians have or are in the process of implementing electronic medical records (EMRs) in their practices.
Our goal today is to enable systems to talk to each other in order to get secure, accurate and comprehensive patient information into the hands of health care providers as quickly as possible. We must leverage the best of regional integration hubs and develop ways for them to seamlessly and securely share information.
IT and Innovation
We are playing a leading role in harnessing IT and innovation to improve health care in Ontario by:
- Providing ehealth services and related support for the effective and efficient planning, management and delivery of health care in Ontario;
- Developing an ehealth services strategy, operational policy; and
- Protecting the privacy of individuals whose personal information or personal health information is collected, transmitted, stored or exchanged by and through the agency.