Each of the Cypress Health Region’s eight primary health care sites is now experiencing the benefits of Electronic Medical Record technology. An Electronic Medical Record (EMR) securely stores and retrieves medical information, enabling health care providers to have quicker, safer access to their patients’ personal health information.
In January 2013 the health region’s primary health care site in Leader became the first facility in southwest Saskatchewan to implement the EMR. Maple Creek became the second site when their EMR went live in October 2013. Most recently, the communities of Ponteix, Vanguard, Hodgeville, Eastend, Shaunavon, and Mankota began to experience the many benefits of the new technology.
Greg Grant, Cypress Health Region’s Director of Primary Health Care, understands the many benefits that result from an EMR once successfully implemented.
“An electronic medical record saves time for both the patient and the clinician because all patient information is available electronically in a secure environment,” commented Grant. “This saves the clinicians from having to flip through a paper chart to find pertinent information so it’s a significant improvement to how we operate on a daily basis in each of these eight sites.”
Grant acknowledged the great partnership and collaboration between the many people that were involved during the planning and implementation phases. “These benefits would not have been delivered to patients without the efforts of our Coordinator Mary Ann Woods, our Primary Health Care staff, physicians, and nurse practitioners, along with the supportive team from eHealth Saskatchewan. They all worked very hard to implement the EMR into the six new sites with a simultaneous release.”
The process of implementing an Electronic Medical Record in the Cypress Health Region has been occurring for more than 16 months. The region has worked with each site and eventual users to prepare for the implementation of an EMR through the completion of staff surveys, focus groups, implementation meetings, and training sessions. The successful implementation of the EMR in each site has been thanks to the involvement of many staff along with tremendous support from the health region’s Information Systems team members.
Personal health information used in the EMR remains confidential and Cypress Health’s team of healthcare providers take great care to protect it. Information is kept in strict confidence and is used or disclosed only as authorized or required by law. Privacy requirements outlined in The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) apply to the EMR. The EMR stores only the minimum amount of personal health information required to plan, manage, and provide services. As is always the case, personal health information is only shared with another health care provider if they are involved in one’s care and are authorized to view such information.
Additional information on EMRs in the Cypress Health Region can be found on the region’s website at http://www.cypresshealth.ca/page.php?id=226.