Canada Health Infoway

Canada Health Infoway

November 03, 2009 14:31 ET

Federal Audit Shows Progress Being Made on Electronic Health Records

Canada's Auditor General also makes recommendations to strengthen Canada Health Infoway

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 3, 2009) - A report released today by the Auditor General of Canada confirms Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) has "accomplished much in the eight years since its creation."

The Auditor General concluded that Infoway is making the best use of its funds for Electronic Health Record (EHR) projects, established appropriate governance mechanisms and management controls as well as a risk management strategy.

"I would like to thank the Auditor General of Canada for her insightful review of Infoway," said H. Arnold Steinberg, Chairman of Infoway's Board of Directors. "We appreciate her acknowledgement that Infoway is consistent with the purpose, objectives, and conditions set out in the funding agreements it has with the federal government."

The Auditor General's report includes eight recommendations for improvement of Infoway including strengthening controls for improved public reporting, contracting goods and services, better documentation of project deliverables, as well as a technical recommendation related to ensuring conformance to standards.

"I have reviewed dozens of reports produced by the Auditor General and this is probably the most positive audit I recall seeing," stated the Honourable Michael Kirby, the former senator who chaired the senate committee that produced a seminal report on the future of health care in Canada in 2002. "Canada absolutely needs a modern information technology infrastructure if our health care system is going to remain sustainable. This OAG report suggests to me that the oversight responsibilities entrusted to Infoway by the federal government are well placed."

"We agree with the recommendations made in the report," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "We have already implemented appropriate measures to address a number of the recommendations; we will implement changes to address any outstanding issues by March 31, 2010."

The Auditor General states in her report the importance of setting up point-of-service Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) in community-based physician offices to fully realize the value of investments made to date.

"We couldn't agree more with the Auditor General that Canada needs to introduce more electronic medical record (EMR) systems at the community physician level, and this continues to be a top priority" said Dr. Michael Golbey, Board Chair for the Canadian Medical Association and a member of Infoway's Board of Directors.

Additional materials:

- Open Letter to Canadians - Richard C. Alvarez, President & CEO, Canada Health Infoway

- OAG Recommendations and Infoway Responses

- Canada's EHR Progress

- What They're Saying About Infoway...

- What They're Saying About EHRs...

About Canada Health Infoway

Canada Health Infoway, an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government, jointly invests with provinces and territories to develop electronic health record projects.

Nearly 300 electronic health record (EHR) system projects are currently underway across Canada, jointly funded by the Government of Canada (through Infoway.) The benefits of EHR systems include increased clinical efficiencies and patient safety, cost savings, reduced wait times and greater patient participation in care management.

Contact Information