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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CMA - Docs for Patients & EMRs


I have been seeing this and other spots on TV. Further info leads to the docsforpatients.ca  site and more information on the outspoken advocate for EMRs, Dr. Ewan Affleck. It is great to see more doctors advocate for Electronic Medical Records. Sponsored by the Canadian Medical Association.  This is why I still keep a cable TV subscription!


I’m Ewan Affleck, I’m a GP, and I live and work in Yellowknife, N.W.T.
The North is a remarkable place for those of us who have come to call it home. I’ve been here 20 years and it’s a privilege as a Canadian to get to know the North. It’s a big part of our identity but many of us never get here.
The health care system globally is under stress. In The North we’re in a bit of a fish bowl, which presents us with an opportunity to be creative and try to find solutions. We have this huge place – this vast territory with 42,000 people and 33 remote communities – and we have to provide some measure of equitable, efficient and safe care. That’s a difficulty, a challenge and a gift, all at the same time.
Last year, over a quarter of the population of the Northwest Territories was physically moved for health care purposes. That drives massive cost. We’re moving people over long distances when what we really need to do is share information over long distances.
Last year, over a quarter of the population of the Northwest Territories was physically moved for health care purposes
My work with health informatics systems started with an outreach clinic that I run at a women’s shelter. Obviously you can’t leave charts in an environment like that given security and privacy concerns. I had to transport charts in and out, and so I went and got an old airline trolley and I would take it down the road with this box of charts, and I thought to myself, there has to be a better way to do this.
I went and got an old airline trolley and I would take it down the road with this box of charts, and I thought to myself, there has to be a better way to do this.
I was very committed to making this outreach clinic work, so I thought whatever it takes I’ll do it. That’s how I started with digital charts and the territorial Electronic Medical Record. Now we have over half of the patients in the territory on that system, and the plan is to have the entire territory on this single charting system, and to have as many of the divisions within the health service on the system so we can provide quality care.  We can provide networked care in the patient’s chart.
As told to the CMA, abridged from a longer interview.

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