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Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: OMA

Health IT in Ontario: Electronic Medical Records, eHealth Procurement Need Help; Online Resources Make Progress

floppy-disk1The Ontario Health Quality Council’s (OHQC) 2009 Annual Report On Ontario’s Health System was released earlier this week, and it notes that Ontario lags when it comes to EMR adoption:

25 percent of family-practice doctors in Ontario had electronic medical records, compared to 50 percent in Alberta, 98 percent in the Netherlands and 89 percent in the United Kingdom.

Of course, eHealth Ontario is focused on other priorities: wait times, diabetes management, medication management…  and crisis management.  Ontario’s EMR target for full adoption is 2015, but the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association both issued releases supporting the OHQC Report’s call for more EMR adoption.

Meanwhile, the Pew Research Centre has a new report out today about how consumers use the internet to find and interact with sources of health information that shows a pretty high level of engagement — according to the WSJ Health Blog’s interview with a co-author of the report:

Nearly 60% [of internet users] said they have consulted blog comments, hospital reviews and doctor reviews, listened to podcasts about health care and signed up to receive updates about health or medical issues. And 20% have posted comments, reviews, photos, audio or video online related to health care, such as participating in an online group forum.

On this front, Ontario is doing pretty well.   The Canadian Medical Association launched an online diabetes tool for family physicians with chronic disease patients at mydoctor.ca which:

allows patients to share important diabetes-related information – such as blood sugar, weight and exercise results – with their doctor in a secure, online environment.

Also, the Ontario Hospital Association’s myhospitalcare.ca website, which started off pretty thin, has gotten an information upgrade this week.

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Ontario Budget 2009: Initial Reactions are “Encouraging”

Generally positive reviews of Ontario’s 2009 budget are coming in from the innovation community:

TBI gives a shout-out to the Emerging Technologies Fund:

The Biotechnology Initiative (TBI) would like to credit Premier Dalton McGunity and Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson for their quick response to the looming economic uncertainty by the creation of the Emerging Technologies Fund… The life sciences community in Ontario is greatly encouraged as a result of the creation of this Fund.

Rx&D is also “encouraged”:

Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) is encouraged by initiatives in the Ontario Government’s 2009 budget designed to fuel innovation and growth in Ontario’s biopharmaceutical and life sciences industry…

“The support in the budget for research infrastructure, genomics, tax incentives for innovation and the increased funding for the Ministry of Research and Innovation demonstrate that the McGuinty Government is strengthening its commitment to make science and innovation a priority.” 

So is the Retail Venture Funds Association:

The McGuinty government has made encouraging policy initiatives that help bring innovative high-tech applications to market more efficiently…  The Ontario Budget released today contained far-reaching initiatives that will help the province’s entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers develop and market new technology here instead of other jurisdictions.

The Ontario Medical Association is…

encouraged that the government is investing $2-billion into eHealth, which is playing an increasingly important role in improving patient safety and efficiency of our health care system. Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have had a tremendous impact on patient safety, continuity of care, and quality of care. To date, over 3,000 physicians have made the transition to EMRs and by the end of 2009, over 4 million patients will have an electronic health record.

Did I miss any?  Are you encouraged too?  Let us know in the comments

Other: 

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