Electronic Health Information Falls Into Three Categories


Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records (EHRs) bring together your individual information registered with health care providers (your family doctor, specialist, health care team) and the provincial health care plan. Eventually, EHRs will include data from hospital information systems, community care clinics and other providers as well.


Electronic Medical Record Software

Electronic medical record (EMR) software is the computer software physicians use to collect, manage and store your EHR. The digital equivalent of the old paper files and charts that your doctor used to keep in an office cabinet. Now, details about the care you receive from a family doctor, specialist, nurse, dietician or other health provider is captured electronically using EMR software. This makes accurate, clear and concise information about your health care status available to all members of your health care team. More than 9,000 physicians and specialists are employing EMR software in their practices.


Personal Health Records

Personal health records (PHRs) are the records that you access and maintain as a patient – your record of appointments, email correspondence with health care providers, information about medications and any interaction with online patient groups.

The Health Care 101 eBook

The health care 101 eBook provides fundamental information on health care and the health care environment in Canada. The eBook touches on four key areas: an international comparison of health care systems; the Canadian health care landscape; the health care delivery environment; and an introduction to health informatics.

Patient care

Electronic health records are already having a positive impact on patient care across the province. Patients will notice a difference in their health care experience through:

How the Patients Benefit
  • Improved care through safer, more accurate and complete information shared among all health care providers
  • Reduced wait times for appointments, procedures and access to community care facilities
  • Reduced wait times for laboratory test results and clinical diagnosis
  • Improved security of confidential health information through modern, encrypted data protection systems
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Doctors and clinicians

For doctors and clinicians, the impact of electronic health records is far reaching, allowing care givers to improve the services they provide through:

  • Immediate, accurate, secure access to pertinent patient medical information from all relevant sources, including hospital and community care reports and discharge records, as well as EMR files
  • Rapid access to a wide array of data ranging from annual patient physicals, lab reports and test results, medication records, and digital diagnostic images
  • Ability to coordinate and share data among different electronic record-keeping systems
  • Reduced potential for adverse drug interactions due to electronic prescribing and record-keeping
  • Improved practice efficiencies through automated workflows
  • More time to focus on patients
How Healthcare Providers Benefit
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Impact on the health care system

Electronic health records improve access to the health care system and the quality of care patients receive while reducing costs. Benefits to the system are achieved through:

healthcare system benefits
  • Lower costs through fewer duplicate tests, fewer physician and specialist visits, and fewer emergency room and hospital visits
  • More efficient transfer of patients to the appropriate level of care (from hospital emergency rooms to long-term care facilities)
  • Improved management of chronic diseases
  • Reduced demands on health care resources