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Ontario To Make Electronic Records Available to Patients

Web posted on November 28, 2013

Ontario is making progress on its commitment to ensure every Ontarian has an electronic health record by expanding their use into 90 community-based health care clinics, giving 500,000 patients access to an electronic health record.

Currently over nine million Ontarians have an electronic health record and 75 per cent of family physicians are using them in their practice.

Forty-five of Ontario's 90 Association of Ontario Health Centre member clinics, including Community Health Centres, Nurse-Practitioner-Led Clinics and Aboriginal Health Access Centres, have already added electronic health records into their practice. This includes the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre and seven others in Toronto.

"The government's commitment to expand the use of electronic health records to community-governed primary health care centres across the province is great news and will significantly assist our efforts to continue the delivery of high quality care to people with high needs in communities across Ontario." Adrianna Tetley, CEO, Association of Ontario Health Centres.

By moving from a cumbersome paper-based system to secure, electronic health records, health care providers will be able to better serve patients by:
* Electronically creating, managing and sharing patient information more easily among a patient's health care providers.
* Enhancing the delivery of preventive care and chronic disease management.
* Using electronic health record-generated alerts to avoid adverse drug-to-drug interactions.
* Sharing and storing secure lab results and helping to eliminate duplication of lab tests.

Modernizing Ontario's health care system and finding more efficient and effective ways to deliver care for patients supports the province's Action Plan for Health Care. This is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure, and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

"More patients across Ontario will now have access to electronic health records which means better health promotion, better management or chronic conditions and better quality care. By integrating these EHR's into their practice, providers will be able to improve the patient experience for more Ontarians and their families." Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

Ontario has expanded Community Health Centres from 54 sites to over 105 sites, providing better care to patients including those from rural, northern and Aboriginal communities, as well as homeless, refugees and new Canadians.