Month: June 2009

EMR (eletronic medical record): does it exist in Ontario ?

Electronic Medical Record as defined by HIMSS Analytics is an application environment composed of the

  • clinical data repository
  • clinical decision support
  • controlled medical vocabulary
  • computerized order entry
  • provider order entry
  • pharmacy and
  • clinical documentation applications

This environment supports the patient s electronic medical record across inpatient and outpatient environments, and
is used by healthcare practitioners to document, monitor, and manage health care delivery within
a care delivery organization (CDO) like a hospital / clinic / doctor’s office and imaging centers.

The data in the EMR is the legal record of what happened to the patient during their encounter at the CDO and is owned by the CDO.

If you still have confusion between EHR and EMR, please refer to this document published by HIMSS Analytics which explains the difference and does a good job.

So where is Ontario in terms of EMR implementation compared to the United States. slide_0026_full


Proceedings from Ontario HIMSS meeting

Switching gears to information technology in healthcare, I attended the annual general meeting of Ontario chapter of HIMSS. It was great to meet friends and see some familiar faces in the industry and listen to interesting education sessions from the status of Electronic Medical Record(EMR) adoption in healthcare provider settings to a pilot chronic disease management project in Barrie, Ontario

The meeting was held in the lovely Sunnybrook Estates, which always enthralls me as I am a big fan of historic places and buildings.

Sunnybrook Estates
Sunnybrook Estates

Coming back to the sessions, most of the session was webcast and archived and you can find the webcast in the links below.

  • John Hoyt, Vice President Healthcare Organizational Services, HIMSS, who gave us the FIRST view of HIMSS Analytic results specific to Ontario

  • Trina Noonan, North Simcoe Muskoka Community Care Access Centre, who presented on an exciting project CHRIS-Procura Integration Project, she hopes to present a first year update at our AGM 2010

  • Lee Miller, Director IT North Simcoe Muskoka CCAC and Florann Shaw, We Care, gave us a glimpse of the technology used to monitor patients’ health status remotely

  • Shelley Cameron, Barrie and Community Family Health Team who presented on a very successful Telehomecare chronic disease management pilot project with great potential.

I am going to elaborate on two specific sessions, especially the following sessions.

  1. John Hoyt, VP at HIMSS, who showed, for the first time, the status of EMR adoption in Ontario hospitals
  2. Shelley Cameron on telehomecare chronic disease management pilot project, which had very successful outcomes and has huge implications for chronic disease management in Ontario

Next time, I hope to see you at the Sunnybrook Estates and stay tuned for further posts on the two above.

Why SAAS or Cloud Computing may not be the way for some enterprises?

I am not the first one to say and lots of industry leaders and enterprise CIOs have been pointing it out that there might be cases where SAAS or Cloud Computing may not be right answer for some enterprises.

In a recent article at IT World Canada, titled “Why SAAS isn’t always the answer”, looks into one specific case, where Manitoba Insurace stayed away from SAAS model largely due to USA Patriot Act.

Yes for businesses in Canada or other countries, its very key to look into the legal aspects and security concerns before signing up with a US based SAAS or Cloud Computing vendor who only has a US data center.

Even for US businesses in the small to medium enterprise segment, from my recent discussion with a CEO, it was very clear, that “Security” is a key factor that may hinder businesses from adopting SAAS or cloud computing.

I am not rushing and concluding about the longer term viability of the business models of the SAAS or Cloud Computing vendors.  My inferences lead me to believe that both on-Demand (SAAS, Cloud etc.,) and on-Premise way of delivering software solution will continue to co-exist and the split between the two may vary on FAD of the month or the year.

If you have more time in your hand, this article at is a worthy read