The Primary Health Care Clinic in Leader, designated as one of eight communities designated as primary health care innovation sites, has become the first facility in the Cypress Health Region to install an Electronic Medical Record system to improve the quality of care for patients.
“This is an exciting addition to the Primary Health Care clinic in Leader and is going to ease the transfer of information for patients and healthcare professionals within the clinic,” commented Greg Grant, Director of Primary Health Care for Cypress Health. “The implementation of the new EMR was very complex and our staff deserves a great amount of credit for their hard work in making this such a smooth transition.”
An EMR is a secure software program that allows for secure storage and retrieval of medical information and enables healthcare providers to safely share personal health information with other members of the primary health care team. The Cypress Health Region notes that access to the personal health information of all patients is available only to authorized clinicians and pharmacists who are part of the care team, in accordance with Saskatchewan’s Health Information Protection Act.
The system was installed with funding from eHealth Saskatchewan following the signing of a Letter of Understanding between eHealth and the Cypress Health Region in the spring of 2012that was intended to facilitate the implementation of the Primary Health Care Electronic Medical Record system in each of its seven primary health care sites.
“This is another example of our Government putting the needs of the patient first,” said the province’s Health Minister Dustin Duncan. “This sharing of health information among providers means all medical professionals involved in the patient’s care are getting consistent and current information, to better meet that patient’s needs.”
The seamless installation of the EMR system at the clinic is credited to the training eHealth Saskatchewan provided to staff on the use of the system, the conversion of historical data into electronic records, and the installation of necessary hardware and software at the clinic.
“Enhancing patient care by getting the important clinical information electronically to the health care team is a priority for eHealth Saskatchewan,” said Vice President of eHealth and Business Relations Denise Junek, “and we’re pleased to support the Primary Health Care site in Leader and congratulate the team in its successful implementation of the EMR.”
Patients do not need to take any action to be included in the new EMR system. All patient information that would previously have been in the paper files in that clinic are now in the EMR, including paper charts, such as lab tests and medical history, which have been scanned into the EMR.
Patients have the option to request a digital mask that requires consent to allow individual care team members to have access to their personal health information.
Plans are in place to expand the rollout of electronic medical records in the six other primary health care clinics located in the Cypress Health Region: Maple Creek, Eastend, Vanguard, Hodgeville, Ponteix, and Mankota. An EMR is also being considered for the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre as it adopts the Collaborative Emergency Centre model of care.
More information on the provincial EMR program within the Cypress Health Region can be found at http://www.cypresshealth.ca/programs by clicking on the Primary Health Care link.