Canada falling behind EHR goal

July 30, 2009
Allison Tsai

After spending eight years and $1.6 billion, Canada has made little progress toward its goal of implementing electronic health records by 2010, according to a recent report.

After spending eight years and $1.6 billion, Canada has made little progress toward its goal of implementing electronic health records by 2010, according to a recent report.

As of March 31, only 17 percent of residents had a core EHR, according to an annual report from Canada Health Infoway, the organization in charge of the national EHR initiative since it started in 2001. Originally, the initiative’s goal was to have 50 percent of residents with a core EHR by 2009, which was then extended to 2010. It also states that by 2010 every province and territory and the populations they serve will have at least one element of the EHR infrastructure in place.

The report did not mention why the EHR adoption rate was so far behind the goal, only that the 2010 target was still achievable.

The report also states that informing the public about EHR technology as it becomes more prevalent is part of an integrated effort to improve Canada’s health system. That is being achieved through focus groups designed to identify views about EHR systems and knowledge gaps that may exist.

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