Community docs gain access to drug repository data
September 20, 2023
TORONTO – The Digital Health Drug Repository (DHDR) has been successfully deployed to more than 6,000 clinicians across Ontario who use OMD-certified electronic medical record (EMR) systems. These clinicians now have secure and real-time access from within their EMR to comprehensive dispensed patient information for drugs covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program and the Narcotics Monitoring System.
An additional 7,000 clinicians have expressed their interest in adopting the same solution within their EMR.
The DHDR, developed by the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health consolidates medical data, providing clinicians with the medication information they need to care for their patients while enhancing patient safety, and building more efficient healthcare practices.
The collaboration to deploy the DHDR marks a significant milestone in advancing patient care through innovative digital health solutions. In just 10 months, from August 2022 to June 2023, OntarioMD worked with EMR vendors and the Ministry of Health, through Ontario Health, to give clinicians EMR-integrated access to the DHDR. This is the fastest large-scale deployment of a digital health tool to clinicians in Canada.
Key features and benefits of the DHDR include:
- Medication Histories: Clinicians have a centralized view of patients’ medication histories, including dispensed drugs covered under the ODB program, dispensed narcotics and controlled drugs recorded in the provincial Narcotics Monitoring System, pharmacy services, COVID-19 vaccination information from the provincial COVaxON vaccination management system, and flu shots administered at pharmacies. This information enables clinicians to make more informed decisions, leading to improved patient outcomes.
- Patient Safety and Medication Management: The repository’s data and real-time updates help clinicians manage patients’ medications and inform their prescribing to prevent potential drug interactions, significantly reducing the risk of adverse events.
- Seamless Integration with EMR Workflows: Designed with the user experience in mind, the DHDR seamlessly integrates with clinicians’ OMD-certified EMR systems. This integration optimizes workflow efficiency, allowing clinicians to focus more on patient care.
- Enhanced Interoperability: The repository aligns with industry standards for data exchange and interoperability, facilitating seamless communication and collaboration among various healthcare providers. This interoperable feature enhances care continuity and patient-centred collaboration.
- Commitment to Privacy and Security: OntarioMD and Ontario Health prioritize patient privacy and data security. The DHDR adheres to strict privacy regulations and security standards, ensuring the protection of patients’ sensitive medical information.
Robert Fox (pictured), CEO at OntarioMD, emphasized the significance of the milestone, stating, “The successful deployment of the Digital Health Drug Repository is a testament to our commitment to leveraging technology to optimize physician practice. We are proud to provide Ontario’s community-based clinicians with this invaluable resource, which will enhance patient outcomes.”
The deployment of the DHDR has been well-received by Ontario clinicians. Its potential to transform medication management and strengthen patient care underscores the positive impact of collaborative efforts in the healthcare system.
OntarioMD and Ontario Health will continue to work together to furthering digital health innovation to drive positive change in Ontario’s healthcare landscape.
OntarioMD is a leader in advancing healthcare through digital innovation. The organization collaborates with clinicians and healthcare stakeholders to develop and deploy digital health solutions that improve patient care, and practice efficiency. OntarioMD is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ontario Medical Association. It receives funding from the Province of Ontario to support family physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners and their staff to adopt and efficiently use digital health technology to care for their patients.