Nfld awarded over $9 million to develop e-health
August 22, 2018
ST. JOHN’S – Thanks to more than $9 million in investments from the Government of Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI) will lead three new initiatives to improve clinical care and healthcare outcomes, and help foster growth in the province’s life sciences sector.
NLCHI develops and implements the province’s confidential and secure electronic health record. The funding will enable the organization to improve technology used in the province’s health information system.
The projects include:
- a secure provincial Health Data Lab to catalogue and store health records
- a pilot project to enhance telehealth in rural areas
- an improved system to electronically order medical processes and procedures.
“The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information delivers new and innovative ehealth programs that are provincial in scope, strengthen patient safety, increase access to services and inform key health decision and policymakers,” said Dr. Kris Aubrey-Bassler (pictured), board chair, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information.
“These three ACOA funded projects will enhance services provided by NLCHI, including health analytics and telehealth, and will add new functionality to one of the most comprehensive electronic health records in the country,” added Dr. Aubrey-Bassler.
The money will support the assessment, design and implementation of a Health Data Lab, which when completed will deliver one of the most advanced and comprehensive provincial-level health data environments in Canada, according to an NLCHI document.
“The Health Data Lab will provide new opportunities for researchers and entrepreneurs to access health data in a secure and protected environment, which opens the door to future innovation. Access to timely, up-to-date and complete data better informs the decisions made by our health leaders, saves resources and ultimately leads to better health outcomes.”
The funding will also expand telehealth in NL which is essential for connecting remote and rural communities to healthcare services. NL has long been a leader in telehealth and currently has 104 sites province-wide. This new funding will push this service further by piloting desktop solutions to move telehealth into patient’s homes and private physician clinics. The money will also help expand services to new locations and into new clinical areas including adult and pediatric emergency services, long-term care and pathology.
The third project will enable the electronic ordering of medical tests and procedures utilizing the provincial electronic health record platform, HEALTHe NL. Initially, the project will focus on cardiac catheterization, vascular lab and certain diagnostic imaging tests such as CT scans, and later include other tests as well.
Physicians currently refer a patient through a paper process involving many people, fax machines and other manual methods. However, e-ordering will allow a physician to electronically refer and prioritize a patient for a treatment saving time, increasing access and enhancing patient safety.