Telus Health and QHR Technologies have announced their intention to collaborate to improve communications between healthcare providers across Canada. Together, the companies intend to create a national, secure, standards-based, and open communication solution that will help the more than 23,000 physicians who use the companies’ electronic medical record solutions to efficiently and effectively care for their patients.
Ineffective communication among healthcare providers is one of the leading causes of inefficiency in Canada’s healthcare system and interoperability continues to be a challenge in this area. The proposed national and open messaging solution will not only enable community-based physicians across the country to efficiently and securely exchange patient information, but facilitate the crucial dialogue healthcare providers need to have when diagnosing and designing care plans for their patients.
Ultimately, Telus Health and QHR wish to expand the solution to pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners such as physiotherapists, chiropractors and nutritionists, to drive holistic, cohesive patient care by coordinating and connecting all members of his or her healthcare team.
This proposed national and open messaging solution is intended to be available to any other healthcare system, in an effort to further connect Canada’s healthcare community. It will also be designed to support the ability to process referrals and prescriptions electronically, without relying on paper, the telephone or insecure channels such as email, texting and fax. For example, a patient visiting a family doctor would no longer need to walk out with a paper prescription for the pharmacist or a referral letter be faxed by the referring physician. Requests could be sent electronically, eliminating the burden on the patient and avoiding potential errors.
“Creating a solution that ensures secure and convenient communications between physicians across the country is an essential building block in our quest to improve Canada’s healthcare system and creating better health outcomes for all Canadians,” said Michael Guerriere, chief medical officer, Telus Health. “Addressing the evolution of Canada’s healthcare system – often referred to as the largest social challenge of our generation – requires us to rethink the way we work and collaborate. This industry-led proposed collaboration with QHR to innovate and break down communication barriers through the use of technology will bring us another step closer to the future of healthcare and is an investment in Canada’s digital economy.”
“For QHR, empowering providers and connecting patients is the vision that drives our company. It is an exciting time for us to be leading a national innovation in healthcare to give our physicians access to the unique services offered by each company and is a great way to accelerate the transformation of healthcare,” said Mike Checkley (pictured), president and CEO, QHR Technologies. “As industry leaders, it is the right time to step forward and work with industry partners to make this critical investment in our healthcare system that will benefit all Canadians now and into the future.”
As part of the proposed collaboration, QHR customers would also get access to the Telus Online Benefit Check service, which provides information about a patient’s drug insurance coverage to a physician as they are prescribing, helping the physician to make the most cost effective drug choices for their patients.
Telus Health customers would also get access to Medeo, a QHR patient accessible web portal, and mobile app that allows for online booking, messaging, and video-conferencing between healthcare providers and their patients.
These services, which will be fully integrated into the physician workflows, play an essential role in making healthcare in Canada more efficient, provide a better care experience for patients, while driving down costs and improving medication adherence.